News Brief: Flu season starts, vaccines available on campus, Murray


Graphic courtesy of the Center of Disease Control and Prevention

MacKenzie Rogers, Staff Writer

Being a month into flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages communities to go and get their annual flu vaccines.

 The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza viruses that infects the nose, throat and lungs, according to the CDC. 

Typical flu symptoms include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headaches and fatigue. Symptoms typically last for around four to seven days. The CDC recommends that anyone exhibiting flu-like symptoms should remain at home and avoid contact with others, except to receive medical care.

While flu cases are still relatively low, there have been noticeable early increases across the country, with the highest flu activity counts coming from the southeastern and south-central areas of the United States, according to the CDC. Western Kentucky is already seeing the flu season’s effects, with numerous public schools including Ballard County , Crittenden County, McCracken County and Paducah Public Schools all temporarily closed because of a surge of flu cases. 

 In October, the CDC estimates 1.6 million to 3.7 million instances of flu illnesses have likely occurred. 

These increases could be a sign of an early start to the flu season, which typically begins in October and ends in February. The CDC also stated the severity of the upcoming flu season cannot be predicted because of the nation’s recent years dealing with COVID-19. 

Flu shot vaccines are available by appointment at the local Walgreens, Walmart and CVS, with Walgreens and CVS offering free flu shots with most insurances. A walk-in vaccine clinic will be available on campus through the KentuckyCare COVID-19 Vaccine/Testing Clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16 in the Waterfield Library Breezeway. 

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