Fresno State orders more flu shots than ever before

Twelve people in the Valley are confirmed dead from the flu. Health officials are now making changes to try and keep the virus from spreading.
January 16, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Twelve people in the Valley are confirmed dead from the flu. Health officials are now making changes to try and keep the virus from spreading.

So far, five people in Fresno County have died from the H1N1 virus. Kings County and Merced County have reported three deadly cases each since Christmas.

This comes as more than 20,000 Fresno State students head back to class. For the first time, the University has ordered more flu shots than ever before.

Fresno State ordered more than two 2,000 vaccines. So far, more than 1700 people have been vaccinated. Medical staff is urging students to stay home and out of class if they feel sick.

We met Becky Ellis, 22, at the student health center in between her brand new classes. She was stressed about the flu shot, worried that the University was going to run out of the vaccine.

"I've just been really nervous lately about all of the people who have been getting sick and the deaths that have been happening."

Ellis says she's concerned about the confined spaces of her classrooms and she's worried that other students may not take the health precautions that she abides by.

"How many people have touched that door today how many people have the flu shot and protect themselves from stuff like that, so I thought it be best to come get it."

Medical staff at the student health center say there's been 9 cases of the flu since August, but four of those have been in the last month. They're urging students to get the vaccine, even launching a campaign. Signs will soon be spotted around campus.

Dirk Ruthrauff, interim director of the student health center said, "When you get the flu and you're in school it can put you out of business for some time and that's not helpful for any student when you're trying to get through classes here."

The director of nursing says they've got cold and flu kits at the health center pharmacy, and students will see masks for everyone's protection.

Wendy Oliver said, "We do ask any student that comes in coughing to put on a mask so that they make sure no one else gets exposed to whatever they may have."

Oliver reminds students to stay home if they're sick so as to not expose others, and do their part to keep the virus from jumping on to someone else.

The flu shot is free for students and there are only a few hundred shots left, but University officials say they can easily order more should there be a need.


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