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Flu season: Loyola health services experts offer tips to stay healthy

Loyola press release - January 11, 2013

Flu season is in full swing, and the flu virus has been detected in all 50 states this year with high activity levels in the South Central and Southeastern United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. Flu season officially runs from October through May, but peak months are January and February. With a higher number of flu cases reported earlier in this season than in the past few years, prevention is key, according to Alicia Bourque, Ph.D., Loyola University New Orleans director of counseling and health services.

"Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting the flu," Bourque said. "Make it a priority for yourself and consider putting it on your to-do list for this weekend."

This year’s flu vaccine covers two new strains of the virus plus the same H1N1 compared to last year’s vaccine. Flu shots at Student Health Services are in limited supply, but are available at doctor’s offices and local pharmacies. For a flu shot convenient to the Loyola campus, visit Walgreens at 718 S. Carrollton Ave. (flu shot costs $31.99), Rite Aid at 3401 St. Charles Ave. (flu shot costs $29.99) and CVS at 4901 Prytania St. (flu shot costs $31.99). Most major medical insurance carriers (excluding Aetna) are accepted at these locations. Walk-ins are welcome at all locations.

In addition to getting a flu shot, Bourque offers these preventive tips:

  • Wash hands/keyboards/phones/door knobs and other surfaces you may share with others.
  • Cover your mouth with your arm or a tissue if you have a cough.
  • Don’t share drinks or food with others.
  • Exercise—studies show exercise can boost your immune system.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.

Please call or stop by the Student Health Center to receive more information on the flu vaccine and over-the-counter remedies. For more information, please visit our website at http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/health.