Each year in the fall the BYU Wellness Program, in cooperation with the BYU Student Health Center, offers flu vaccinations for BYU faculty, staff, and administration, and their dependents. The vaccinations are givenin the form of a shot. DMBA and Aetna insurance will cover the cost of the flu shot.
What is Influenza (flu)?
The flu is a respiratory illness that is caused by a virus. It can cause mild to severe illness, and may even cause death in certain cases. Every year in the United States an average of 5 to 20% of the population gets the flu. Some people are at high risk for the flu including young children, the elderly, and those with certain health conditions.
How is the flu spread?
The flu virus is airborne and easily spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching your nose or mouth can also give you the flu. The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a vaccination each year.
Vaccination each year is important because the virus changes from season to season. The flu shot contains an inactivated virus, meaning it has a killed virus in it. The shot is given through a needle in the upper arm. The best time to get vaccinated is during the months of October and November, but getting vaccinated later in the year can be helpful as well.
Who should be vaccinated?
Those at high risk for complications of the flu:
- Children aged 6 months to 5 years
- Pregnant women
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with chronic medical conditions
- Anyone who wants to decrease their risk of influenza.
Who should NOT be vaccinated?
- People who have severe allergy to chicken eggs.
- People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccine in the past.
- People who have developed Guillain-Barre syndrome.
- Children less than 6 months of age.
- People who are currently experiencing severe illness or a fever.
- Fever (usually high)
- Exhaustion or fatigue
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle aches
- Nausea or vomiting, but these are more common in children than adults
Good health habits for the flu season
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay at home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.