“It’s difficult to [know] when this flu season will end, but needless to say it’s not over yet,” said Jaime Finch, family nurse practitioner for the Vanguard Health Center.
This flu season has been unlike any other with climbing mortality rates that are outnumbering the deaths of any other flu season. According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), every 1 in 10 deaths last week were caused by the flu or pneumonia.
Finch stated that this flu season has been particularly bad due to the vaccine that was not a direct match to the flu strain. Despite this, Finch still recommends getting a flu vaccination.
The symptoms of the flu can mimic a common cold. Symptoms such as a sore throat, a runny nose, and a cough are ones to look out for. However, this can make it very difficult to determine whether a person has a cold or has the flu.
“We have done a great job so far at controlling the flu on campus by sharing flu prevention tips with RA’s and staff, but that doesn’t mean that it won’t get worse,” Finch said.
RA’s have been spreading the news to their floors by implementing knowledge of hand hygiene, covering all coughs and sneezes and sending students to the nearest location to receive the flu shot, the Rite Aid on Harbor Boulevard. RA’s are also trying to let students know that they have resources that are available to them at the Vanguard Health Center to get tested for the flu.
Recovering from the flu is a whole other game. It takes a long period of time to heal with a large amount of sleep and the right antibiotic. However, Tamiflu, the most common antibiotic for flu-like symptoms, is relatively expensive to purchase, so many students have found a different approach to getting better.
Sophomore Brittney Stevens said that when she had the flu recently, she tried to get as much sleep as she possibly could, sometimes up to 14 hours each night. She also recommends trying to keep up on schoolwork while you are sick because it takes a lot to get caught up in classes afterwards.
“When I had the flu I still went to classes and still did my homework. Being a Biology major, if I miss one class that puts me ten steps back. Having the flu made me feel miserable, but I wasn’t going to let it make me more miserable by setting me back academically,” Stevens said.
Sophomore Kayla Higgins also had the flu recently and said that drinking tons of water and keeping stress levels low are key to becoming better when fighting a virus like this one. Also, finding a new remedy while you are sick is something worth trying.
“I highly recommend the medicine ball tea from Starbucks. It truly is a miracle in a cup,” Higgins said.
Keeping up on simple things such as hand hygiene and self-care when the virus is circulating in a community is something to always be mindful of. Using your resources at the health center and getting antibiotics to fight against the virus is a great thing to consider doing if you start seeing flu-like symptoms.