Flu news: Prevention works
Hundreds of students have been juggling flu symptoms along with their studies this quarter, judging by the numbers of students reporting flu-like symptoms at the Student Health Center.
Several new students report symptoms each day, according to the centerís Flu Blog. But WWU has seen far fewer cases than other campuses, says Dr. Emily Gibson, director of the center.
WWU isnít experiencing as much flu as other campuses because students seem to be taking flu prevention seriously, says Dr. Emily Gibson, director of the Student Health Center.
Remember these tips to help stop the spread of the virus:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid sick people.
- Donít touch your eyes, nose or mouth so that you donít spread germs.
- Stay home from work or school except to seek medical care.
- Click here for more from the CDC.
ďStudents have been very conscientious about their prevention efforts,Ē Gibson says.
Students who think they might have the flu should not walk into the center without first talking to a health center nurse over the phone. The health center offers an online self-assessment survey to help students determine if theyíre sick enough to call a nurse. Students can also try an interactive flu self assessment from Emory University and Microsoft to see if any of their symptoms warrant immediate attention.
Students with the flu should consider going home to recuperate, said Dr. Emily Gibson, director of the health center. But those who choose to stay on campus while hunkered down with flu symptoms can order meals from dining services so they wonít have to leave their rooms.
WWUís plans to vaccinate students for H1N1 and seasonal flu have been delayed by nationwide shortages, but Gibson hopes to get vaccines soon and distribute them on campus. Even if students have already been sick with what may be H1N1, seasonal flu doesnít typically arrive in Whatcom County until December and January, so students should still consider getting flu shots, Gibson says.
Students can also find out about flu vaccines available in Bellingham by going to the Whatcom County Health Departmentís Web site, which includes regularly updated lists of seasonal and H1N1 flu shot clinics.