Fight the Flu on Campus
The flu has hit IU South Bend. Laura Hieronymus, director of the Health and Wellness Center, said visits to the center by students with the flu are up about 40 percent from past years.
The flu is marching across the country. Some cities have closed schools. Twenty-two people in Indiana have died from the flu.
“We’re seeing fever, sore throats, and body aches. And the trouble is the students are not getting to the health center quick enough. If they get in within 48 hours of the first symptom, we can give them medication to reduce the effects of the flu,” she said.
If you do have the flu, she said, it is best to stay home. It will prevent your flu from spreading and “not make everyone suffer around you.”
The best way to avoid the flu is to keep your hands clean, avoid touching your face, and cough and sneeze into a tissue or in your sleeve.
The center is out of flu vaccine shots and the vendor is out, as well. “If someone still wants a flu shot, it isn’t too late but they will need to go to the health department or a private physician who still has flu shots.” Hieronymus said. “You can still get a shot but it will take two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection.”
The flu shot isn’t perfect. It is effective about 70 percent of the time. Getting the shot will reduce the severity of the flu. “You will be sick for two days rather than 10 days,” Hieronymus said.
Hieronymus said there are a number of flu misconceptions out there, such as the shot makes the flu worse. “Wrong. It will not make you sicker.”
She also reminds students there is another way to pass around the bug. “Keyboards in the computer labs and desktops are a concern,” she said. “Lots of germs remain on the workstations.” The best thing to do is wash your hands after using them.