Flu sweeps nation, not confirmed on campus



Mackenzie Warren, Staff Writer

Its January, and as if on cue, the flu is spreading across the nation. Student Health Services, however, cannot confirm whether the flu has reached the Marywood campus.

Linda McDade, director of Student Health Services, said that she is uncertain about the number of students on campus with the flu.
“We have seen several students with upper respiratory/flu-like symptoms since returning in January,” said McDade.She said she also saw many students with similar symptoms at the end of the fall semester.

“We have not sent any students [to be swabbed in order] to confirm the flu. We’ve treated students with flu-like symptoms; whether they have influenza, I’m not sure. But, you treat them the same basically,” she added.

The students she’s seen have not been so sick that she advised them to take Tama-Flu, the most common medical treatment for the flu. Rather, she recommended that they stay home, take lots of fluids, and rest.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that this year is one of the worst flu seasons in years because of the severity of H3N2, the main flu strain being carried throughout the nation. In addition, this year’s activity started at the beginning of Dec. earlier than in previous seasons. By Jan. 11, a high number of flu cases was widespread across the U. S. January and February are the peak months of flu season, according to the CDC.

Because of the high profile of this year’s flu season, Student Health Services held an unprecedented second flu vaccine clinic on Monday, Jan. 14. McDade also sent out a university-wide email on Jan. 10, explaining the various ways to avoid the flu, including washing hands and staying hydrated. Students with symptoms have also been urged to stay home so as not to infect others.

Not everyone heeds the warning to stay at home once experiencing symptoms.

“I would probably still go to class [even if I was sick], unless I was on my death bed or something,” said Sara Krempasky, freshman nursing major.

Sr. Margaret Gannon, professor of history, on the other hand, said she’d cancel class if she came down with the flu. “I think health is more important than two hours of class.”