Students may have noticed an increase in absences among classmates and professors over the last couple of weeks. This coincides with the campus nurse reporting about one in five undergraduate students has visited her office over the same period of time.
“I’ve had roughly 150 visitors in the past two weeks,” said Cynthia Ulrich, campus nurse.
Ulrich said she strongly advises students and faculty to wash their hands often. Those who are sick should stay in their rooms and rest in order to keep the germs from spreading around campus. Ulrich also recommends drinking clear fluids and maintaining a normal diet.
Multiple ailments have been traveling around campus. Tyler Avila, a sophomore broadcasting and journalism major, has been suffering with an upper respiratory infection for the past week.
“I do not feel well,” Avila said. “I can’t stop coughing, and my nose is always running.”
Other students have been feeling drained as well. Not only are students combating infections, they are also fighting the flu, sinus problems and other illnesses.
Claire Clay, a junior public relations major, had to visit her family doctor in her home town because her illness became unmanageable.
“Being sick is a real burden on a college campus,” Clay said. “You can’t avoid it, and your entire schedule is often altered.
“Sometimes professors understand and are willing to work with you, but other times that is not the case. I hope this season of illness passes soon because students can’t afford to catch it once, let alone twice.”
Cody Dellenbach, a junior social work major and Residence Life staff member, just got over his symptoms.
“I missed like four classes last week,” he said. “The nurse said I had the germs that were going around campus.”
The flu this season has raised awareness for doctors and medical staff throughout the country. The Center for Disease Control reports that the influenza vaccine has been only 48 percent effective.
The CDC is referring to this specific strain as Influenza A. The flu is a virus rather than a bacteria, and therefore is generally considered to be nonliving.
According to the CDC, bacterial infections require antibiotics, while viruses are typically only combatted with vaccines and rest. There are typically no medicines to treat viruses. People with viruses must manage symptoms until the virus leaves their body or the immune system regains enough strength to fight it off.