The flu at UNF: 48 recorded cases since December 2017

Cori Santucci

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 16,000 positive cases of influenza (both A and B strands) have been reported in the U.S. since the start of flu season this past November.

Photo courtesy of Laughlin Air Force Base

The H3N2 strain is the most prevalent in the U.S. and is also the most dangerous, showing the most cases of hospitalizations and even deaths. UNF Student Health Services has seen 48 cases of the flu since the beginning of December, and 12 cases just in the past week.

In response to the alarming number of cases, Health Services prepared “flu packages” consisting of tissues, hand sanitizer, and instructions for what Director of Health Administration Dr. Doreen Perez calls “cold etiquette.” Staff also offered flu shots for students at two different locations to make sure everybody had the opportunity to get vaccinated. The University’s Janitorial Services have also been informed to give more attention to common areas such as doorknobs that are used by hundreds every day.

Student Health Services strongly advises that students wash their hands frequently and cough or sneeze into their shirtsleeves. Students must also be wary of who they come into contact with. Phone screens and computer keyboards are hotbeds for bacteria as well and should be cleaned routinely.

“There is no sense for panic,” said Dr. Perez.

Perez explained that while the virus is widespread, it is manageable. Hydration and rest are key for maintaining a strong, healthy immune system, and can often be overlooked.

Student Health Services is open Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Students with any health questions or concerns can call the clinic at 904- 620-2900.

For more information on this flu season and its impact on students, click here.


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