The flu: Tackling this year’s contagious bug
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 27, 2012 17:09
As October begins, the dreaded flu bug, influenza, begins to spread like a sneeze spreading out in mid-air.
Influenza, or the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that can unnoticeably creep in your nose, down your throat and into your lungs, spreading throughout the body, causing fever, cough, runny nose and a tired, achy feeling. There are two main types of flu viruses, Type A and B. These two types are the main two viruses that can lead to a seasonal flu epidemic.
The flu can spread quickly and easily, and it is contagious. Simply washing your hands with soap and water on a regular basis is one way to prevent the spread of the flu virus. However, the number one prevention against getting the flu is to get a flu shot.
Flu shots are now available at CVS Pharmacy in Martin.
“The cost of a flu shot varies for college students depending on insurance. And on some insurance plans, the flu shot could possibly be free. Just give us a call or come in and ask,” said Megan Woods, CVS pharmacist.
There are several advantages to getting a flu shot at Martin’s CVS.
“No appointment is needed, and you don’t have to pay a doctor’s office visit if you just drop by the pharmacy,” Woods said.
She added that Tuesday and Thursday mornings are the best times to stop by.
Also, Woods mentioned a new type of flu shot available.
“There is a new intradermal shot that goes just under the skin, but there’s more chance of a local skin reaction with this shot. The kind of flu shot given to an individual depends on age, and pregnancy status”, Woods said.
When going to get a flu shot, listing all allergies is very important, because the possibility of an allergic reaction could occur after obtaining the shot.
‘The vaccine is manufactured with egg protein, and some antibiotics are used in the process,” Woods said.
Proper precautions are maintained at all times, and after receiving the flu shot, everyone is asked to wait 15-20 minutes to safeguard against any reaction.
“We have an Epi-pen on hand for severe reactions,” Woods said.
Shannon Deal, UTM Director of Student Health and Counseling Services, said the fee for this year’s flu shot on campus is $20 for students.
“The flu shots will be given at certain times, but they are not available at this time. However, when they do become available, students will be notified promptly per the UTM student portal and through their Student’s Health website,” Deal said.
Denise Bell, a registered nurse at the Weakley County Health Department in Dresden, said flu shots are not available yet, but should be available soon.
“The cost for a flu shot is $25, and the fee is income based, family support based and part-time job based,” Bell said.
The cost of the flu shot is covered under TennCare, she said.
“To cut down on wait time, it is best to call first,” Bell said.
Flu shots are also available at Wal-mart in Martin, located in front of the Vision Center. This service is being provided by the Mollen Flu Clinic.
For more information, contact CVS Pharmacy at 731-587-4535, Weakley County Health Department at 731-364-2210 or the Vision Center at Walmart at 731-588-5744.
Also, to learn more about the flu, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.