Influenza On the Rise on Campus

Posted on 2/10/2017 9:54:24 AM

What is Influenza (also called Flu)?

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year, especially if you have a chronic medical condition such as asthma or diabetes.

The Flu at IUP

So far this semester, 17 of 31 students tested were positive for flu at the Health Service—of these, 12 have been in the last week.

Signs and Symptoms of Flu

People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

How Flu Spreads

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by saliva/nasal secretions made when people with flu cough, sneeze, or talk. So, cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, and clean off surfaces.

Complications of Flu

Complications can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

What Should I Do?

Free flu shots are available at the Health Service to any and all IUP students, staff, faculty, and the general public. We highly encourage you to get vaccinated.

The Health Service will be very happy to answer any questions or concerns about the flu. 

Resources

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention can also provide key facts on protection against the flu.