Tips for keeping healthy as flu season hits campus

Jordan Daniels, Staff Writer

Student Affairs sent out an recent email alerting the Wilkes community that the flu has been found on campus.

The email included ways to prevent the flu and symptoms of the virus so if any students experienced them, they could react quickly to receive treatment.

“It is very important to take precautions to prevent the spread of the flu on campus,” stated an email from Student Affairs. “The symptoms of the flu are as follows: high fever, dry cough, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.”

Any student experiencing the symptoms are instructed to go to the Health and Wellness Center to get tested for the flu. The center has seen a few positives as of this month, but the peak of the flu season ranges from February to early March, sometimes lasting until April.

“Last year we had about 25 cases of the flu but tested probably over 100 students with symptoms,” said Diane O’Brien, family nurse practitioner and director of Health and Wellness Services.

There are many courses of action students can take to avoid getting sick. Washing your hands, covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, not sharing drinks, using disinfecting wipes on TV remotes, gaming devices, computers and phones are all steps students on campus can take to help not spread germs.

“Using common sense and being extra vigilant about handwashing and not being around sick people will certainly be helpful,” said O’Brien. “Carrying hand sanitizers in your purse or backpack will allow you to keep your hands more germ-free.”

However, the most important step to take against the flu is getting a flu shot annually. Students and faculty should take advantage of the opportunity of receiving a free flu shot from the Wilkes-Barre Department of Health at the Student Union Lobby on Feb. 4 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“The first defense against the flu is getting the flu shot,” said O’Brien.

Sophomore history and international relations major Jennifer Boch, got the flu before returning to school from winter break. She shared her experience with being sick at school.

“My most severe symptoms lasted for three days with a fever, achiness, tiredness, cough, and I had a stomach strain of it, which caused vomiting. However, I did not feel 100 percent until about a week later.”

Boch also advises people to get the flu shot every year to protect themselves from getting sick. She clarified why it is necessary for people to do so around this time of the year.

The virus can take a toll on a person’s daily abilities for numerous days, especially students who not only have classes to attend but might even have jobs to work.

“The most important thing you can do is rest and relax,” Boch said. “Do not try to act like you are fine. Take a pause to your normal pace and take care of yourself because you will feel worse at the end of the day if you do not.”

Madi Hummer