Kent State prepares for flu season

This burger made from the garden begins with a pretzel roll, beef patty and goat cheese. It features crisp spinach, tomato, caramelized onion, tomato vinaigrette, basil pesto and vinegar relish.

Cassie Smith

Along with the stress of papers, homework and exams this semester, students may also have to worry about getting the flu.

Ohio, along with much of the country, is facing a flu epidemic. At the beginning of the semester, the university sent a message through Flashline urging students to stay home from class if they are feeling “flu-like symptoms.”

Dr. Angela DeJulius, interim director at University Health Services, said many measures have been taken to get the word out to students about the severity of this flu strain.

Information has been posted in residence halls and academic buildings, as well as Kent State’s website and University Health Services’ website.

“Our main message is prevention — common sense prevention,” DeJulius said. “Wash your hands, stay home if you’re ill and get a flu shot if you didn’t do so already.”

DeJulius said University Health Services began preparing for the flu season last semester with flu shot clinics.

“We gave flu shots at 19 separate clinics around campus and at all of the regional campuses,” she said. “Then [because] we saw the flu increasing over the break, we’ve gotten in some extra vaccine, and we’ve continued to immunize.”

DeJulius said many students showed up to these clinics, but those who waited are coming to get their shots this semester.

“I do think people who get the flu are shocked at how ill it makes them feel because we tend to say, ‘Oh, I had the flu,’ when what we really had was actually a minor illness,” DeJulius said. “When the actual influenza truly hits us, we tend to be a little shocked by how sick it makes us.”

Hannah Sawyer, sophomore communication studies major, said her job required her to get a flu shot.

She said in order to prevent herself from getting the flu she is “sleeping a lot, eating healthy and drinking a lot of water.”

Jamie Bell, freshman special education major, chose not to get the flu shot but said there are other things she is doing to avoid getting the flu.

“I have been taking a lot of vitamin C and [other] vitamins,” Bell said.

There are several actions students should take if they think they have the flu.

DeJulius said students should stay home from class if they have a fever so they do not contribute to spreading the virus around campus.

“The best treatment is really to stay home and rest, drink fluids, take some Ibuprofen for the aches and pains [and] take some cough syrup for the cough,” DeJulius said. “The illness usually lasts a week or so, so if your symptoms become more severe, we would encourage you to come in and get checked. But if you have typical flu symptoms, it’s OK to just stay home and rest.”

Where to get a flu shot:

University Health Services

1500 Eastway Dr.

As of Jan. 1, the health center has a limited number of flu shots available. Those looking to get the shot should contact UHS at 330-672-2322 to schedule. The flu shot costs $20 and can be paid by cash or check. The cost is covered in full for employees and their adult dependents covered by Anthem or Medical Mutual.


500 S. Water St.

MinuteClinic hours for a flu shot at CVS are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


320 S. Water St.

Walgreens allows walk-in flu shots, or an appointment can be made online at The pharmacy is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact Cassie Smith at [email protected].