Flu cases on the rise at Kent State

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Information provided by Jennifer D’Abreau, interim chief university physician for University Health Services. 

Tyler Haughn

Flu season is in full swing throughout the United States and Northeast Ohio. This year, the flu is hitting Kent State in full force.

Jennifer D’Abreau, a senior physician at University Health Services, said there has been a subtle but noticeable increase in the amount of flu shots the health center has administered every year. She said she was surprised to see that the first confirmed case of the flu this season was on Nov. 3.

“That was a bit early for us,” said D’Abreau, who has worked at the health center for 16 years. “Usually it hits over winter break. However, last year in comparison, our first case was around the same time, in November, and we ended very late: May 12 of 2016.”

For the 2014-15 academic year, University Health Services ordered 1,490 flu shots. The following year, doctors at the health center administered 1,708 flu shots. This year, University Health Services ordered 2,100 flu shots, and there are only about 80-100 doses left.

Kent State utilizes its expertise of a large team of healthcare physicians and nurses at the university’s health services who diagnose students sick with the flu by having them encourage students to participate in preventative measures to help minimize the spread of the easily contracted sickness.

Students can stay on the lookout for easily recognizable symptoms. These symptoms include fever, excessive coughing, headaches, sore throats and general fatigue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

D’Abreau said that between October and May, all nurses are required to ask students if they want a flu shot.

Emily Mann, a sophomore psychology major, had her flu shot over Thanksgiving break.

Mann believes it is important for everyone to receive their flu shot to help with prevention, especially students.

“I would recommend students get a flu shot, especially if they live in the dorms or with a bunch of people,” Mann said.

D’Abreau said students concerned about the flu should visit the health center as soon as possible, and they can conduct a “rapid-flu” test. Within 15-20 minutes, they can make a diagnosis.

Tyler Haughn is the student health reporter, contact him at [email protected]