In case you hadn’t noticed, flu season is soon to be upon us here at UTA.

We’ve already had the back-to-school strep, the quarter-term creeping crud and the terrible allergies we all get here in Texas.

Now, I don’t mean for this to sound like the flu is lurking around every corner, but you really should be prepared if you don’t want to get sick.

Otstot, Elayne.jpg

Otstot is a public health senior and CommUNITY Voices columnist for The Shorthorn.

Especially when being prepared is so easy; just get yourself a flu shot. I know I did.

Before you run out to get your flu shot, you may have some questions. What’s in it? What does it do?

The flu shot is a deactivated influenza virus, which means the virus has been killed by a method like heat. The flu shot is a set of instructions for your body about what’s good or bad or, in this case, what will make you sick or not sick.

To use an example most everyone will understand, not having the flu vaccine is a lot like not having an antivirus program on your computer.

You may be fine for a while, until you get a virus that deletes your hard drive, changes your password and messes up your computer.

Let me tell you that the flu can get that bad — I’ve been there.

One year, I had it and then a week later contracted pneumonia during final exams, all because I didn’t have my flu shot.

I do want to point out that even with the shot, you could still get the flu, but it’s pretty uncommon.

If this happens, be sure to see your doctor, or go to an urgent care facility if it’s outside of normal office hours.

My purpose here isn’t to scare you but to make you think about taking care of yourself.

No one likes being sick, and especially no one likes having the flu.

To get your shot, you can contact the UTA Health Services Clinic. The clinic has walk-in appointments and the shots are $25 for individuals not on the academic health plan. Otherwise, they’re free.

Sure, you might be a little tired, sore or achy afterward. But that’s normal! It’s your body saying, “Hey, we’ve got new instructions. It’s going to take a while to process, so sit tight. We’ll get everything back to normal ASAP.”

@PubHealthGirl

opinion-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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