flu – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca News, entertainment and sports from Langara College journalism students Wed, 30 Oct 2019 20:47:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.1 https://www.langaravoice.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/LOGO-100x100.png flu – The Langara Voice https://www.langaravoice.ca 32 32 Video: Many Canadians skipping flu shot this year https://www.langaravoice.ca/video-almost-half-of-canadians-may-skip-flu-shot/ Wed, 30 Oct 2019 20:26:42 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=43738 Produced by Liam Hill-Allan A recent poll commissioned by London Drugs has found a statistic which some health care experts find concerning. According to the survey, four in 10 Canadians may forgo their flu shot this year. Last year, 3657 Canadians were hospitalized due to flu related issues and 223 Canadians died from influenza. Langara […]]]>

Produced by Liam Hill-Allan

A recent poll commissioned by London Drugs has found a statistic which some health care experts find concerning. According to the survey, four in 10 Canadians may forgo their flu shot this year. Last year, 3657 Canadians were hospitalized due to flu related issues and 223 Canadians died from influenza.

Langara college is currently offering staff and students the opportunity to be immunized for free as part of annual influenza clinics held on campus. The shots are administered by  Langara nursing students as part of a hands-on, educational experience.

Langara will be holding clinics on Nov. 5 and 12.

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Langara’s lack of policy surrounding sickness leaves students and staff with a tough choice https://www.langaravoice.ca/langaras-lack-of-policy-surrounding-sickness-leaves-students-and-staff-with-a-tough-choice/ Thu, 28 Mar 2019 00:00:56 +0000 https://www.langaravoice.ca/?p=41779 When business student Ben Newman was sick recently, he stayed home to recover and got a range of contradictory opinions from his instructors on whether or not he was too ill to be in school.]]>

Reported by Maxim Fossey

When business student Ben Newman was sick recently, he stayed home to recover and got a range of contradictory opinions from his instructors on whether or not he was too ill to be in school.

Langara’s lack of policies surrounding illnesses has staff and students like Newman confused about whether or not they’re too sick to attend classes. Recent bulletins from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control show there has been a late season wave of influenza A across the province.

Vancouver Coastal Health hasn’t announced an official outbreak at Langara College, specifically, though students and teachers have said there have been more people missing than usual from class.

Newman said he got a mixed bag of reactions from his instructors.

“Some told me that it was fine, others say ‘contact your classmates for missed material,’” he said. “One told me to ‘toughen up.’”

‘I always try to go to class, even when I’m sick’

Newman suggested there should be a policy about students missing classes because of sickness.

“It should be part of the syllabus so that it’s easier for students to know about them,” he said.

Susan Kensett, with the health services department at Langara, said the college doesn’t have a specific policy for what to do when students or staff are sick because that’s the responsibility of the health authority.

Heather Amos, the communications officer at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, wrote in an email that schools should be reporting all influenza-like outbreaks to either the health authority or the centre of disease control.  

Chris Horan, a computer science TA at Langara, said there’s confusion among the staff regarding specific sickness policies on campus. Horan said there should be information sessions held in departments so instructors know what the policies are on campus.

“I always try to go to class, even when I’m sick. I never miss it, but I think some students abuse that power sometimes,” Horan said.

Horan said that what sick students do at Langara really depends on their instructors.

“Different teachers say they don’t care whether or not you don’t bring a doctor’s note in, even if you miss quizzes they seem to understand your situation,” Horan said.

See related post https://www.langaravoice.ca/opinion-no-illne…nd-staff-at-risk/

 

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Opinion: Get the flu shot and protect yourself and your community https://www.langaravoice.ca/opinion-take-the-flu-shot-and-protect-yourself-and-your-community/ Thu, 17 Nov 2016 16:00:38 +0000 http://www.voicedev.xyz/?p=25305 Reported by Chelsea Powrie

Getting the flu shot is the responsible thing to do for yourself and for your community, and there should not be any excuses.

The flu shot contains an inactivated virus that will provide immunity from that strain for one year. The key word is inactivated, meaning the virus is dead, and it is impossible to contract the flu from it. To reiterate: you cannot get the flu from the shot.

In Canada, diseases that are preventable through vaccines are experiencing a rise, with people choosing not to immunize themselves.

What you may experience after the shot are side effects such as a sore arm, a mild fever, chills or a headache. These are your body’s reaction to the vaccine and will subside in a few days, at most.

Annoying, yes, but if you’re not willing to put up with some mild discomfort to help protect vulnerable members of your society, then you need to re-examine your priorities.

I used to avoid the flu shot. I hated the feeling, and I didn’t understand the science. Then, my brother was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, which leaves him at high risk for complications from the flu. Now I get the flu shot every year.

My brother isn’t alone in needing protection. Elderly people, cancer patients, pregnant women and infants are just a few example of vulnerable populations. Babies are especially at risk because they can’t receive their own vaccine until they are at least six months old.

Around 3,500 people die from the flu in Canada each year. Just last May, a mother in Ontario woke up to find her two-year-old child dead of the flu.

There are no excuses for not getting a flu shot if you do not have a medical reason to avoid it. Think about the vulnerable people in your life, and ask yourself how you would feel if they ended up in the hospital with the flu because somebody they interacted with just didn’t like needles, or didn’t bother to educate themselves.

Go get your shot.

Read our related story about vaccination here

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Cartoon made by Veronnica MacKillop

 

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Parents enjoy freedom to vaccinate their children or not https://www.langaravoice.ca/parents-enjoy-freedom-to-vaccinate-their-children-or-not/ Thu, 17 Nov 2016 16:00:34 +0000 http://www.voicedev.xyz/?p=25273 03_vaccines-2
Students at Langara have vaccines as part of a Flu Shot Clinic offered by the Student Health Services and the nursing department this past week. Photo by Clare Hennig.

Reported by Clare Hennig

Several vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough are on the rise in Canada as more people opt out of immunization according to Katharine Browne, an instructor of philosophy at Langara.

Browne, led this month’s Philosophers’ Jam, focusing on vaccinations and whether they should be mandatory. The speech also focused in on many parents who are choosing against vaccination for their children. B.C. has one of the lowest vaccination rates in comparison to eastern provinces according to the Statistics Canada website.

“People who choose not to vaccinate are in fact acting rationally,” Brown said. “I’m not claiming that they are acting morally, but it is rational.”

Sarah Carrey, mother of two school-aged children, said she likes having the choice to vaccinate her sons or not.

“They have the important ones, like tetanus and measles,” Carrey said. “But I don’t give them the flu shot … getting the flu is normal for kids.”

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The November Philosophers’ Jam, hosted by Langara’s philosophy department, was led by Katharine Browne who discussed vaccinations and whether they should be mandatory. Photo by Clare Hennig

The key point, though, is that having the flu shot is a choice rather than enforced, said Alex Boston, coordinator of the talk. He said the availability of flu vaccines on campus this past week is a good example.

“They’re literally giving you access to vaccines but it’s not that a student would lose grades or not be allowed to come to Langara if they did not have vaccines,” Boston said. “It’s not a case of the government forcing anyone to take vaccines, they’re just making them very easy to get.”

Boston said he doesn’t know if that kind of enforcement would happen in Canada, but pointed out there are other laws restricting people’s freedom in the name of public safety.

“It’s about balancing individual autonomy with the collective good,” said Browne.

Hailey Clyde, a mother of a 4-year-old girl, said she lacks the desire to believe in vaccines, specifically the flu vaccine.

“If someone gets a flu vaccine shouldn’t they be protected by people who choose not to get the flu shot?” Clyde said. “I’m choosing not to vaccinate my child, it’s a choice and I should have the right to make my own.”

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