Flu season has gotten off to its earliest start in the U.S. in 10 years, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Since both an A strain and a B strain of influenza are circulating this year, a person could potentially come down with the flu twice this season," said Laurette Dekat, director of the UD Health Center (right).
"Whereas both Type A and Type B influenza cause respiratory symptoms along with high fever, severe body aches and marked fatigue within 24 hours of onset, Type B also can cause nausea and vomiting," said Dekat. "Both strains are included in this year's vaccine. As a general rule, the vaccine is not as effective against Type B; thus some people are catching this flu after having had the vaccine. Hopefully they will find sufficient antibody protection should they also be exposed to the Type A virus."
Dekat encouraged UD employees to visit the health center for flu shots. Vaccines will be distributed on a "first come, first serve" basis and are available to employees free of charge. Please email Dekat at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Health Center at 972.721.5322 before going over to the clinic to check for availability.
"It takes about one to two weeks for protective antibodies to form after receiving the flu vaccine, so come on over to the clinic as soon as you can. Even though it's not 100% effective, it is far better than no protection at all," said Dekat.
Additionally, flu shots are free for University of Dallas CARES medical plan members at participating Express Scripts network pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens, Kroger, Albertsons and Tom Thumb. The member only needs to show their Express Scripts ID card (or to let the pharmacist know Express Scripts is the pharmacy benefit manager and provide their SSN). It is recommended, however, that you call your pharmacy ahead of time as many are starting to run low or run out of the flu vaccine.