Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Flu is not for you

By Sarah McMullen

Plattsburgh N.Y.- Runny nose, sore throat, high fever, aching body. Those are just a few symptoms of the nasty of the influenza virus that strikes the nation during the winter months. People are starting to take precautions to battle the chances of getting the flu. One of the most commonly practiced protection method is receiving the flu vaccination.
On the other hand there are still many who would prefer not to get the vaccination. In fact, In the numbers of vaccinations administered in Clinton County have dropped by 377. Which begs the question what does Clinton County residents, more specifically Plattsburgh residents happens to those that are not protected by the vaccine and what precautionary measures made.
            Parents in the surrounding area have mixed opinions on how the flu is preventable. Starting at home seems to be the number one place that most families start planning and trying to stop the invasion of the flu virus. For one mother, Molly Leclair, the best way to prevent getting the flu is getting the vaccination. Leclair knows that the vaccine isn’t 100 percent preventable.
However Leclair will take all the help she can get to make sure her son doesn’t come down with the flu. Leclair said, “The best way my family and I avoided the flu is to get the vaccine and wash your hands. There have been plenty of outbreaks of the flu in Plattsburgh that it should be mandated that you get the vaccine. It could help out a lot of people.” Leclair brings up a valid point that getting the vaccine could definitely help many people during the upcoming flu season. But what about the the outstanding statistic that the flu only protected 32 percent of the people who received it.
Leah Briody a student at SUNY Plattsburgh was one of the first to receive her flu shot from the University’s health center. Although she received the vaccine, two months later she contracted the virus and was bedridden for a week. Briody has voiced her disappointment in the vaccine because she was trying to take precautionary measures to not get the flu.
Briody, an active member in her community knows many others who received the flu shot last year and contracted the virus as well. “From now on I am going to just wash my hands because it is a waste of time and money to go to the doctors and get a flu shot. If I want to get a flu shot in the future I am just going to go to the pharmacy” said Briody. Though there is a negative stigma rather than your doctors that comes with getting your flu shot at the pharmacy it is slowly going away.
People are finding it easier to stop by the pharmacy for a flu shot than making a doctor's appointment and paying the copay. One pharmacy that participates in administering flu shots is Plattsburgh Walgreens administers flu shots all year round. Kelly Fletler is a pharmacist there and has been administering flu shots for two years. Fletler has taken notice that senior citizens have taken advantage of the opportunity while younger people deny the option when asked.
            Fletler understands that the flu shot is not 100 percent effective but believes it’s the best precaution to take. “The flu shot is projected to attack the strain of flu that has began to spread. Getting the flu shot is just a good way to get a jump start on the fight of flu season.”
Though the younger generation is not necessarily stopping by the local Walgreens the SUNY Plattsburgh health center has been on top of distributing flu shots to students. Candice Hall a nurse at the center. Says that the whole campus suffered an outbreak of the flu during January 2014. More than 100 students showed symptoms of the flu and were treated for it. Hall said, “Getting the flu shot may not help everyone but it is useful as a just in case. The Flu is really debilitating virus. Most students who come down with it are out of classes for around a week.” Hall went on to elaborate why the flu is contracted so easily on campus and stressed the importance of taking care of your body during the flu season.
The Clinton County Health Department is also making strides to keep the county healthy. On their website the first thing they have shown is a link leading the viewer to an array of links of resources. The link describes why there is a need for people to get the flu shot, “As determined by the Centers for Disease Control, the viruses in a flu shot and FluMist vaccine change each year based on scientists' tests about which types and strains of the flu will be the most strong that year.” This is a resource for many people in the county to utilize.

The flu comes every year and this year there are hopes that there will be a decline in the amount of people who get the flu. Just remember a good start  beat the flu  to wash your hands and get your vitamin C.

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