Flu Season Hitting Students Hard

This year, the flu season is reaching epidemic proportions. Unfortunately for students everywhere, school is one of the most common places that people retract the flu, and students are at high risk for getting the flu this time of year.
Although there are times when there is nothing someone can do about preventing an illness, such as when a family member or someone they are in close contact with gets sick, there are certain things that students can do to stay healthy this winter.
“With exams going on, students who are sick will refuse to stay home, which can actually be worse because they will spread the disease,” campus registered nurse Ronnie Howard said. “Some people have weaker immune systems than others, and they can get sick easier. It’s really important that we all take care of ourselves right now.”
The symptoms of the flu include fevers over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, body aches, chills, and a cough. A doctor can give someone medicine to help within three days of the initial appearance of symptoms, however after that there isn’t much to do.
“If three days pass since the onset of these symptoms, then students should stay home until they are fever free for 24 hours without any medicine, including over the counter ones like Advil or Tylenol,” Howard said.
There are certain things that people can do to try and prevent the spreading of the disease, and the nurses urge students to be more aware of their habits this time of year.
“Make sure you wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and don’t share any food or drinks with others,” Howard said. “Also, if you cough, then cough into your elbow, because that won’t spread the disease as easily as if you cough into your hands.”

Some students have their own methods to staying healthy. Different strategies work for different people.
“I stay healthy by taking my vitamins and eating lots of fruits and vegetable,” sophomore Fernanda Leal said. “I also make sure I wear lots of layers so I don’t get cold.”
However, the majority of students are unaware of the importance of staying healthy, and especially during times when so many people are catching the flu, it is crucial that everyone takes on preventative behaviors to stop the illness from spreading.
“We have so many students coming in here with fevers, chills, and really bad coughs,” Howard said. “I cannot stress enough the importance of staying home if you’re sick, and making sure you aren’t doing anything that could cause you to get sick or make someone else sick. It’s not hard to do, it just takes a little extra thought.”