Flu season upon us

Ashley Perry

Spring semester commonly means two things in Ohio: bad weather and getting sick in some way or other.

Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, occurs frequently during the winter months. Flu season typically peaks during January and February, according to Angela DeJulius, Kent State’s director of University Health Services.

Flu cases can be seen as early as September all the way through April, said DeJulius.

Compared to previous years, Kent State is currently experiencing fewer cases of the virus. The number could change, but so far it has been a mild flu season for the university, said DeJulius.

Four major symptoms of the flu are fever, cough, headaches and muscle aches, said DeJulius.

“People feel like they got hit by a bus,” DeJulius said.

Krysta Dexter, a speech pathology and audiology major, said when she had the flu, she was stuck “laying in bed and only able to eat broth.”

The flu is usually self-diagnosable and antibiotics will not help. DeJulius recommends treating the flu symptomatically, so getting plenty of rest, maintaining fluid intake, andtaking over-the-counter medicine for a fever, headache, or cough, but most importantly, staying home so the virus is not spread.

As college students, it is difficult to take time off from homework and classes, but rest is essential to getting better, said DeJulius.

The flu usually lasts around a week and if symptoms persist, it might be pneumonia. For some people, the flu will automatically turn into pneumonia. Going to the doctor after a week of not feeling better is important to catch the virus in its early stage, said DeJulius.

When asked if everyone should get a flu shot before each season, DeJulius said “pretty much everyone, yes.”

This year, 100 percent of DeWeese Health Center’s staff received a flu shot. This is a safety measure to protect the students and faculty who go to the care center for treatment.

“As a healthcare worker, if you have the flu, you could give it to all the patients that come in,” DeJulius said. “It is an important safety standard, so we are very proud that this year 100 percent of staff got a flu shot.”

DeWeese Health Center still has a limited amount of shots available for those who want one. If interested, call the health center at 330-672-2322 and make an appointment. The shot is almost always covered by health insurance, so for most people, it won’t cost anything.

Ashley Perry is the Health Reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]