Illustration by Megan Bender.

Staying healthy during the flu season


Flu season has begun and the California Department of Public Health provides weekly reports of the epidemic. In CDPH’s third weekly report, all Californians are encouraged to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible.

An email sent by the CDPH stated, “CDPH is concerned about the severity of influenza and the impact of influenza on the health of people of all ages.”

The CDPH went on to inform individuals by asking anyone suffering from the flu to avoid going into emergency rooms unless symptoms become more severe.

The CDHP lists a variety of symptoms that people need to be aware of. These include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Abdominal pain or severe vomiting
  • Not being able to eat or drink enough fluids
  • Being confused or not walking normally
  • Having symptoms that improve but then return with a fever and worse cough
  • Appearing dehydrated

For anyone who is suffering from these symptoms, the CDPH encourages you to get in touch with health care services or seek emergency care as soon as possible.

Students at HSU looking for a place to get vaccinated can visit Student Health and Wellbeing Services for free flu vaccinations. Vaccinations are only offered from October through January.

Residents who are not HSU students can also visit the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services clinic in Eureka.

On their website, they inform residents that “the cost of the flu shot is $17, although no one will be turned away for inability to pay.”

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers people methods on how they can prevent themselves from contracting the flu: “Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub”.

The CDC also recommends cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects. In addition, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. For more information to prevent spreading or getting the flu, visit the CDC’s website.

The ongoing flu epidemic is being regarded as the worst in decades. The CDC reports that in the third week of the year, doctor visits for flu-like symptoms increased in the United States to 6.6 percent, higher than the national baseline of 2.2 percent. The number of pediatric deaths is 37.

“It is not too late to be vaccinated,” the California Department of Public Health said. “CDPH recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated each year.”


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