Health Center braces for flu season

With the flu season steadily approaching, the Student Health Center will be offering free flu vaccinations in October.

Dirk Ruthrauff of the Student Health Center said there are various ways to avoid contracting the flu virus, but that a flu shot can provide a sense of peace.

“This past year was a milder flu season for us,” he said. “There were only 28 students who were diagnosed and treated for the flu virus in comparison to 73 cases of patients who had the flu last year.”

The only requirement is picture identification such as a Fresno State ID or a California driver license.

Students pay $108 per semester for the Student Health Center. It is built into student fees.

“The flu vaccine is typically given in October, which is when the Health Center typically expects to receive our shipment of medicine,” Ruthrauff said.

Ashley Whitehead, a freshman majoring in psychology, plans to take advantage of the free flu shot.

“I can’t afford to get sick at a time like this, especially during pledging and with school beginning to pick up,” Whitehead said. “Even though I don’t like needles, it’s a service I have to utilize.”

Another way students can try to avoid becoming sick is by wiping down door knobs, counter tops, work areas or other hard surfaces. The flu virus can survive there for two to eight hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Washing your hands for a period of 20 to 25 seconds is also an effective prevention method, according to the Cancer Nutrition Centers of American Health organization.

CNCA Health also supports the adage that chicken soup is helpful when suffering from the flu. The comfort food contains anti-inflammatory effects and helps mobilize the inflammatory cells within the body.

Nick Jiminez, a senior majoring in marketing, plans to add more homemade soups to his diet to ward off any possible flu symptoms.

“I’ve already contacted my mother and put in several requests, including my favorites: chicken soup and clam chowder,” Jiminez said.

Geoffrey Sota, a junior majoring in environmental sciences, offered his own flu advice.

“Eat local honey. It’s inexpensive, drug free and a tasty way to beat the flu,” he said.