Flu can be avoided with

care and common sense

by Jessica Ellis

Daily Cougar Staff

As the flu season approaches, high-risk patients are urged to get vaccinated for influenza, said Dr. W. Paul Glezen, epidemiologist at the Influenza Research Center at the Baylor College of Medicine.

The largest high-risk group is the elderly. Also, people with heart disease; lung disease, including asthma and chronic bronchitis; and diabetes are at risk.

In addition, people with chronic kidney disease, with chronic anemia, including sickle-cell disease and with immune-system disorders are among the groups.

These people are at most risk for developing life-threatening complications, usually pneumonia.

Glezen said flu sufferers are treated on a case-by-case basis according to symptoms and their severity.

One of the best ways to avoid the flu, as well as other communicable diseases, is to practice common sense such as covering one's mouth when coughing and sneezing.

Also, it is important to wash hands thoroughly after blowing one's nose and disposing of used tissue.

The flu shot is available to students, faculty and staff with proper ID for $10 at the Health Center. Student health insurance doesn't cover the cost of the vaccination. No appointment is necessary.

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