By Sage Green
The Monroe County Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of nine flu-related deaths in Monroe County so far this season, while there have been as many as 2,236 confirmed cases of the flu in the county as of January 27.
An email was sent out to The College at Brockport students and faculty warning about the increase of cases and what symptoms to look for. Symptoms of the flu include: fever above 100°F, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The Hazen Center for Integrated Care at Brockport has reported a significant increase in cases of the flu in the past month. Lynne Maier, the Clinic Coordinator of Hazen Health Center, has seen approximately 40 students come into Hazen with the flu.
“The flu shot is the number one way we recommend for students to prevent the flu,” Maier said. “Our second recommendation is washing your hands. When you’re around campus, think about how many people have touched the same surface that you may be touching. We strongly encourage students to be almost obsessive about washing their hands.”
Junior nursing student Jensine Nguyen has taken these recommendations to heart.
“I am constantly washing my hands,” Nguyen said. “With everything I’ve seen on the news about the flu it’s pretty serious this year, and you can never be too safe.”
Though it may be difficult for college students to focus on their health when they have other things they need to worry about, it is still important to get a sufficient amount of sleep each night and to eat healthy. College students are often compared to a candle burning at both ends; however they need to remember that their health should be a top priority.
“What students need to do is look for warning signs,” Maier said. “If anyone is having difficulty breathing, pain or pressure in their chest, excessive vomiting, or dizziness, we advise them to go to the hospital immediately.”
Students have been fearful of the flu because of what they have seen on the news over the past months. With the recent talk of deaths caused by the flu, students are doing their best to prevent it.
Maier also suggested ways that students who already have the flu can find a sense of relief.
“They need rest and fluids most importantly,” Maier said. “And they also need to treat the symptoms. So if they have a cough, take cough medicine. If they are congested, take a decongestant. Advil and ibuprofen help as well.”
The college has also put together something they call “meal slips” where students in resident halls who have the flu can contact their Resident Director or Resident Assistant to have food from the dining hall delivered to them.
Students across campus are taking flu season seriously this year. And during this time where illness is spreading, it is crucial for everyone to stay on top of their health.