Health and Wellness Center prepares for flu season

Health and Wellness Center prepares for flu season

Health and Wellness Center prepares for flu season
October 05
11:19 2018

Every year the Health and Wellness Center offers free flu shots to students and $20 shots for faculty. The center began giving out flu shots on Monday, Sept. 24, and will continue until the supply runs out.

“With the cost of healthcare increasing and with our desire to make this low—cost and affordable for students, we see this as an opportunity to serve the campus and community,” said Heather Rich, coordinator of medical auditing and compliance.

This year, UNT increased the number of vaccinations from 1,300 to 1,800 due to the flu season being extended into early February, with an increase in the appearance of Flu B compared to Flu A.

“Our records indicated we saw a spike in spring 2018,” said Israel Chavarria, health educator and coordinator for the Meadows Center for Health Resources. “That mirrored the national averages as well.”

UNT ordered more vaccinations hoping to get as many students as possible prepared for the upcoming season. As a result, UNT is continuing their mobile flu clinics in order to be more accessible to students, which includes coordinating with Discovery Park and the Frisco campuses.

“One of things we noticed is a lot of students are busy, so over the last couple of years we started doing mobile flu clinics,” Rich said. “We will be going out to campus where we know the walk through traffic is going to be high so we can administer flu vaccinations to as many students as possible.”

With the virus changing constantly, the Center for Disease Control has developed a new vaccine. The vaccine for the 2018-2019 season is called Influenza Vaccine Flucelvax Quadrivalent.

“The CDC estimates which virus type is going to be most prevalent regionally, and they provide us the best vaccine they think is going to help for our particular population,” Chavarria said. “We couldn’t do anything outside of that to help and stop the affect or the results of the flu.”

The Health and Wellness Center offers free flu shots for UNT students. Mallory Cammarata

Some services the Health and Wellness Center provides to subside the flu are doctor check-ups, dietitian services and massage therapy.

“You might be able to know more or less what you should be eating or shouldn’t be eating for stomach flu or just for general flu season,” UNT alumna and employee Erin Farrell said. “She [the dietitian] might have a couple of good recipes for when you are feeling down with the flu.”

With the services provided by the Health and Wellness Center, obtaining a free vaccination has shown to be the most effective way for beating the flu.

“We [provide] education and hand hygiene stations in our clinic,” Chavarria said. “But ultimately a vaccination is the most effective and the best solution to combating the flu you can find.”

The Health and Wellness Center plans to get more walk-in patients.

“We are definitely making sure we reevaluated the way we treat patients and the way they come into the clinic,” Rich said. “To better serve students, especially when we’re talking about the flu season, we’re going to fill up those [appointment] slots as much as possible.”

The Health and Wellness Center advises students to wash their hands and keep up their health in order to minimize the chances and effects of the flu.

“I’ve seen an increase in the flu with those who haven’t had the flu shot,” Farrell said. “If you’re sick, don’t go to class.”

Featured Image: A kit for a flu shot includes a wipe, bandage, syringe and the actual vaccine. The Health and Wellness Center offers free flu shots for UNT students. Mallory Cammarata

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Madora Jemison

Madora Jemison

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