Flu season going strong

Kylie Townsend/ The News

Kylie Townsend/ The News

Students across campus are starting to feel the affects of the constantly changing weather in Murray. Flu season has begun and Health Services is starting to see more students visit them with cases of the flu.

Judy Lyle, health educator in Health Services said students, faculty and staff and were confirmed with flu screening swabs:

Since November, Health Services has treated 19 students for the flu.

“There have been a few client visits that were diagnosed as having flu without laboratory confirmation,” Lyle said. “Sometimes the symptoms are just so pronounced that we treat based on the symptoms.”

The normal flu season runs from December until the end of March.

She said the dynamics of flu season is random, due to the severity of the virus. Some years will be moderate, while other years have high flu counts.

Lyle said students should be aware of the differences between a cold and the flu.

A cold usually has a low-grade fever or none at all, with some aches and a runny nose; flu symptoms are more prominent.

Flu symptoms include a fever of 100-102 degrees, headaches, achiness, extreme fatigue, stuffy nose, cough, sneezing, sore throats and chest discomfort. Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as diarrhea­ and abdominal pain can also be flu symptoms.

Health Services is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed Wednesday afternoons.

Lyle said visits to Health Services in the spring and fall for allergy-related symptoms are also very common and frequent.

She listed many ways for students to reduce the effects of pollen: maximize time outdoors when pollen counts are lowest and wash hands frequently­ to reduce the pollen collected on your skin.

Lyle said it is important to note that hand-washing is the prime measure to prevent not only the flu but also most illnesses.

“We gave approximately 100 flu vaccines to students and about 160 to faculty and staff (last fall),” Lyle said.

Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said students need to be aware that the University has a very comprehensive health service on campus and they should take advantage of their help.

“At the earliest sign of not feeling well they need to get help,” Robertson said. “It can save them money and help them get better.”

Story by Meghann Anderson, News Editor.