It's time to get your Flu Shot!
Welcome to the Health Matters Newsletter, published by the Health Center and part of the weekly Campus Report. Its purpose is to share information regarding pertinent medical issues and health and wellness tips with students, faculty and staff here at SUNY Fredonia. Topics this month include:
Classes are in full swing now, and so is the flu virus. It is important to protect yourself from the flu by getting a flu shot. Otherwise, you are at risk for contracting it, spreading it, and hindering your academic success.
What is seasonal flu?
Seasonal flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. Approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year. It spreads between people and can cause mild to severe illness. In some cases, the flu can lead to death.
In the United States, the flu season occurs in the fall and winter. Seasonal flu activity usually peaks in January or February, but it can occur as early as October and as late as May.
What should I do to prepare for this flu season?
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone as the first and most important step in protecting you against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common.
The "flu shot" is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older then six months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
The "nasal spray flu vaccine"is a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for "live attenuated influenza vaccine" or FluMist ) is approved for the use in healthy people 2 -49 years of age who are not pregnant.
Flu Shots are Available
When: Beginning on October 8, 2013
Between the Hours of: 9am-12am and 2pm-4pm
Where:LoGrasso Hall Health Center
Cost: $10.00 Students and $20.00 Faculty/Staff
**Fred Debit Card Only**
When to get vaccinated?
Yearly flu vaccinations should begin in September or as soon as the vaccine is available and continue throughout the influenza season, into December, January and beyond. This is because the timing and duration of influenza seasons vary. While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or later.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
Everyone six months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu as soon as the 2010-2011 season's vaccine is available.
While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:
**If you are 65 years of age or older, there is a new, more potent influenza vaccine available. Please discuss this with your primary care physician as to whether you should receive the “Fluzone High Dose” Seasonal Influenza Vaccine. **
Who Should NOT Be Vaccinated?
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. These include:
What Side Effects Should I Expect From the Vaccine?
There are different side effects which can be associated with the flu shot vs. LAIV.
The "flu shot", composed of inactivated viruses, come with the possibilty of the following minor side effects:
If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who recieve the influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it.
The "nasal spray flu vaccine" (also called LAIV or FluMist) are weakened viruses and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness.
In Children, side effects from LAIV can include:
In adults, side effects from LAIV can include:
What else can be done to prevent the spread of flu?
Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
By: Lauren Hargraves
Myth #1: You can get the flu from the vaccine.
This is absolutely false. The vaccine injects a DEAD strain of the flu into your system. Your body’s immune system can’t tell the difference between a live and dead virus, so it treats it as a live strain. The body then produces antibodies, which are what fight viruses. Any contact you may make with the virus after having the flu vaccine will be safe because your body will recognize the virus and has the right antibodies to fight it, so you won’t ‘catch’ the flu.
Myth #2: The flu is only dangerous for the elderly.
It is true that children and seniors have weaker immune systems and are more at risk of dying from something like the flu, but it can be a risk for everyone. During times of the year where there is more academic pressure you may be exhibiting symptoms of stress, like fatigue. During stressful times your immune system can be hindered due to the stress hormone called cortisol. Since exam times fall during the flu season, otherwise healthy students are at greater risk of contracting the flu and having complications of it because of a hindered immune system from stress.
Myth #3: If you have the flu once, you won’t get it again in the same season.
During a typical flu season, there are both Type A and Type B strains of the flu going around. If you have the flu once, you have only encountered one strain of that season’s flu. So you can absolutely catch the other strain of the flu and have it twice in one season! If you contract the flu once, you should still get your flu shot afterward to protect yourself from catching the other strain of the season.
There is a Vaccine for Everyone
There are two types of vaccines, the shot and the nasal spray. If you don’t like needles, the nasal spray can be an option for you.
The nasal spray differs from the shot in a couple of ways. First, it uses a live, weakened flu virus as opposed to the killed virus the shot uses. This live, weakened virus will still not give you the flu. It is approved for use in healthy people ages 2-49 that are not pregnant. The shot is approved for anyone above the age of 6 months to use, and is safe for people with chronic medical conditions.
By: Lauren Hargraves
It’s October, the leaves are changing, the air is crisp, and that means one of the most fun-filled days college students look forward to is approaching: Halloween! Dressing up to pretend to be someone or something else can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to remember to be safe on Halloween, just like any other day of the year. If you follow the tips below, you’ll be sure to have a great Halloween.
Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in this country. Each year, more than 211,000 women and 1,700 men in the United States learn that they have Breast Cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2008, it is estimated that 182,460 females and 1990 males will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and 40,480 women and 450 men will die from breast cancer.
Research from the National Academy of Sciences concludes that lifestyle and diet is responsible for up to 60% of cancers in women. A strong link suggests that a lower estrogen level reduces the risk for developing breast cancer. It appears that estrogen, a natural female hormone, induces and promotes mammary (breast) tumors. This happens when too much fat in the diet upsets the estrogen balance in women. Also, women who have several close maternal relatives (ie., grandmother, mother, aunt, sister) who develop breast cancer before menopause, the risk may be as high as 50%.
The best prevention is eating a low fat, high fiber diet, limiting or avoiding alcohol, not smoking, and exercising regularly. Not only does the dietary regime reduce the risk of breast cancer but it may help prevent many other types of cancer.
The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump or thickening in the breast. Other signs include swelling, puckering or dimpling of the skin, or redness or soreness in the skin. The nipple may become drawn into the chest, change shape, become crusty or emit a discharge. Some early breast cancers are painless. Any pain or tenderness that lasts throughout the 28 day menstrual cycle should be reported to your physician.
Mammography, as a diagnostic tool, remains a woman's best defense against breast cancer. A mammogram can find a breast lump when they are extremely small, too small in many cases to be detected in a physical exam. There is a 97% cure rate in early diagnosis where the cancer has not spread. Remember 4 out of 5 lumps are benign and not cancerous. According to the American Cancer Society, a woman should have her first (baseline) mammogram between the ages of 35 and 39. Then one should be done every one to two years between the ages of 40 and 50 and annually thereafter.
Cancer is a multistage process. Ones best defense is to block the process throughout your lifetime with a healthy lifestyle.
Self breast exams are the simplest, the least time consuming and the first line for women to detect abnormalities in their breast. Monthly self breast exams performed 7 to 10 days after the start of the menstrual cycle, can familiarize the woman with her own breasts and make it easier to detect any abnormalities.
1. You can do a portion of the exam while you are in the shower. Incorporating it into a normal activity can make it easier to do, and less of a time constraint. Remember to mark your calendar every month as a reminder.
2. Do the self breast exam every month at the same time. Menstruating women should perform it a few days after their period. Women taking oral contraceptives should do the exam on the first day of starting a new pack of pills.
3. Report any changes to your physician, even if you feel it is minor.