By Dedrain Davis
Spring semester at Hampton University brings exciting spring break plans, romantic walks on the waterfront, and the dreaded flu season.
Due to close living quarters, shared restrooms and social activities, college students must be extremely careful. According to the Center for Disease Control, the official months of flu season is from November to the end of March.
Ciera Edwards, a sophomore business major from Minnesota, said "I wash my hands before every meal and take NyQuil if I start feeling sick."
The flu is spread by droplets that are released into the air when people sneeze, cough or talk. Students should seek medical care if they experience symptoms like body aches, fever and chills.
"Because I live on campus, if my roommate gets sick I assume that I will to, that's the reality." said Macie Owens, a sophomore business major from Chicago. That is the feeling of many students on campus.
The campus Health Center uses a rapid swab test that gives a positive or negative result in only 20 minutes. Once diagnosed with the flu, the Health Center is responsible for placing students under "isolation". Isolation is a procedure that prevents the spread of the flu to other students. In this case, the Health Center will contact the parents of the student and make alternative living arrangements that can include a hotel stay or staying with a family member.
Melanie Ames, a registered nurse at Hampton University's health center, said "In the month of January we were concerned about an epidemic at Hampton. We had to place several students on isolation. That was the worst month."
Ames added, "The flu is miserable. It is easier to just be careful."
Health Center Director Bert W. Holmes Jr., M.D., encouraged student to get the flu vaccine at home. The flu vaccine protects against 60 percent of flu strains. The vaccine will also make symptoms less severe, if one does catch the flu.
Below are tips from Student Services. Stay healthy Hampton.
Tips for preventing the flu:
- Strict hand washing
- No sharing of drinks
- No kissing
- Use Hand Sanitizer
- Cough in elbow, not hand
- Flu vaccination
The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.