It’s that time of year again when the flu is prevalent, especially throughout college campuses. West Chester University has many students who are getting the flu, however, there are various precautions one can take to help avoid getting sick, but the best by far is getting the flu shot.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, 91 people have died from the flu already this flu season. Flu season can stretch all the way to May and is most rampant in February and March. The Pennsylvania Department of Health also mentioned that the flu is more dangerous than it has been in previous years, beating out 2009-2010 and 2014-2015.

In previous years, flu vaccinations had a much higher percentage of keeping people from getting the illness. However this year only 17 percent are prevented from illness according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. But 17 percent is better than nothing. People should do whatever it takes to reduce the chance of catching the flu. West Chester University student Drew Livesay contracted the flu, but luckily made a full recovery. Livesay had this to say about it: “Anyone who is able to get a flu shot should not wait around. I wouldn’t wish the flu on my worst enemy.”

Many people do not get their vaccination because they do not want to spend money or they do not have the right insurance to receive one for free. However, there is good news: West Chester University’s Student Health Center is giving vaccinations for free to every student.

Normally, students would have to pay a fee of $12 when visiting the center for an appointment, but this year receiving a flu vaccine is entirely free of charge. The Student Health Center can take walk-ins, though they would prefer if students would make an appointment in advance. The Student Health Center is located on the first floor of Commonwealth Hall. If you want more information on the center, you can go to the school’s website and type in “Health Center” in the search engine.

Student Leanne Harkins received her flu vaccination last week by following the process above. Harkins said, “Getting a flu shot at the Student Health Center was relatively simple. I just called in and made an appointment and got my shot within the same day.” The majority of our spring semester is during flu season, so it is highly recommended that everyone get a flu shot. In addition to getting a shot, you can take precautions by disinfecting desks, chairs, washing your hands frequently and avoiding sharing food and drinks.

Ryan Bednash is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. ✉ RB842278@wcupa.edu.

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