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FLU VACCINES--PRICE REDUCED TO $2 for the first 100 students!

DON'T MISS CLASSES AND WORK--GET VACCINATED! Every year, students and staff lose precious work and school time due to flu. Flu can put you out of commission for up to 2 weeks.

Flu season generally runs from October through April. Student Health Services provides flu vaccines to students and staff on campus each year.

Flu vaccine is available to the general campus for $20 on a walk-in basis at Student Health Services (Room 912, Aptos campus, next to the cafeteria). NO APPOINTMENT NEEDED!

Why Should I Get a Flu Vaccination?
By Martha Orr, RN, MPH, Cabrillo College Student Health Services

How many classes or days of work did you miss last year because of illness? Did you know that the flu often causes people to be out of work or school for two full weeks? What impact would this have on your life, your grades, or your budget?

Each year, between November and March, millions of people in the US suffer from influenza ("the flu"), losing untold hours of work and wages. Over 100,000 people are hospitalized and approximately 20,000 people die in the US each year due to the flu and its complications.

So what exactly is "the flu"?

"The flu" is short for influenza virus, an easily spread infection that travels via respiratory droplets in our sneezes, coughs, and even when speaking. Once contracted, the symptoms appear quite suddenly, including a 3- to 4-day high fever (102-104 degrees), headache, extreme fatigue, body aches, cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion. Unlike the flu, the common cold is rarely accompanied by fever, headache, fatigue, or muscle aches, and is generally much milder and shorter in duration. The flu can also cause serious lung and respiratory complications, and can worsen other existing medical conditions, such as asthma or congestive heart failure.

Fortunately, each year successful flu vaccines are available to protect us from the specific predicted strains of influenza. Although the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly advises individuals in specific high-risk groups to get a flu shot, they also recommend it for anyone who wants to prevent the flu. It is a safe and inexpensive vaccine which effectively prevents influenza in 70% to 90% of people who get the shot or nasal spray. Of those who are vaccinated and still get the flu, they are likely to have a much milder case.

It's a myth that the flu shot causes the flu: it's impossible because the vaccine is made from "killed" influenza viruses. The most likely side effect from the flu shot will be a sore arm! Allergic reactions to the shot are very rare; however, people who are allergic to eggs, ill with a high fever, or who have have had previous flu vaccine reactions should not get the flu shot. In addition, the flu vaccine in nasal spray form is a "live" vaccine, and may cause a slight, transient immune response (mild body aches and possibly a low-grade fever a few hours following the vaccine).

The ideal time to get a flu shot is October, or as soon as the vaccine becomes available. From October through February or March, SHS will be offering flu vaccines to Cabrillo students, staff, and faculty. Stay tuned for information about availability of the vaccine and for SHS hours for vaccination.

To increase your odds of a healthier year, get a flu vaccination at Cabrillo this fall or winter! For more information call 479-6435 or go to www.cdc.gov, and search for "flu vaccine."

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