County and UNF officials warn of flu

Connor Spielmaker

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Brooks College of Health, where the on-campus clinic is located. Photo by Alexis Molinaro

Student Health Services (SHS) is asking students who might be sick to stay home.

County health officials are asking Student Health Services to put out a message to the university community regarding Influenza after seeing an increase in confirmed flu cases within the student body.

Spinnaker reached out to Director of Health Administration Doreen Perez who told us that since February 15th, there have been 22 confirmed cases of Influenza A (one of the most common forms of the virus) – 11 of those in just the last week. While 22 is the confirmed number, it is safe to assume there are many more that have not gone to see the doctor.

“Don’t go to the movies, don’t go to bars… stay home,” said Perez. She also said midterms may have played a role in the rapid spread since students would be less willing to miss class. According to Perez, the cycle has to be broken, and that will be achieved by students staying out of contact with others.

Perez advises students that are exhibiting flu-like symptoms (high fever, aches, lethargy) to head to the clinic. There are some prescription medications that can help to prevent the spread and mitigate symptoms, but such medicines are only effective if used quickly. The flu is highly contagious and remains so for about a week after contracting the virus.

If you have not received a flu vaccine, it is not too late. While Student Health Services is out of the vaccine on campus, it can be found with your primary provider or most clinics for around $20. It is important to note, however, that the vaccine will not be effective until up to two weeks from vaccination.

Spinnaker will continue to work with SHS in covering any developments on the situation.

 

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