Flu season spans from October to May, which puts it directly through most of the academic year at Eastern Kentucky University.
Around this time of year, flu cases begin showing up at the clinic in Student Health Services.
“The key to the flu is prevention,” Brenda Caudill, health services manager, said.
Student Health Services offers free flu vaccinations to EKU students every year. On Nov. 12, the clinic will be offering walk in exclusive flu shots from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to combat the spread of illness on campus.
The on-campus clinic also offers testing for influenza Type A and Type B.
The most common symptoms of the flu are runny nose, cough, headache, body aches and a high fever.
“The most common misconception that people make is mistaking a stomach flu for the flu,” said Caudill.
“Some people may have a little nausea, but it is primarily a respiratory illness.”
Many people also mistake a cold for the flu. The main differences between cold and flu are how suddents’ flu symptoms arise and a higher fever.
If left untreated, most people will recover within seven to ten days with no issues. People with other conditions, like asthma, may end up with complications such as pneumonia as a result.
“It is recommended that everyone gets a flu vaccine. Yes, we know that it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get the flu, but it does decrease the severity if you were to get it,” said Caudill.
If you think you have the flu, it is important to seek medical help within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms so that you can be offered antiviral medication.
“I’ve gotten the flu many times,” said Miranda Gutter, a freshman animal science major from Columbus, Ohio.
She also stated that she gets the flu vaccine every year because she has gotten the flu previously.
Maggie McGlone, a freshman psychology major from Fort Thomas, Kentucky, has also gotten a flu shot this year.
“I get one because the doctors tell me it will prevent me from getting the flu,” McGlone said.
Though only around three cases of the flu have been diagnosed at the clinic as of now, cases are expected to only increase as the semester continues.
“Right before Christmas Break, and right after the break it’s always a huge influx,” said Caudill.
Other methods that can be used to prevent the spread of the flu include regular handwashing, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wearing a mask if you are showing signs of illness and have to be in a classroom setting and getting a flu vaccine.
To find out about pop-up clinics and other services offered by the Student Health Services, check the EKU Today emails, under student announcements or social media.