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Flu plagues campus

Written by Sophie Hobbs

Students on campus have not only seen an increase in snow and bitterly cold temperatures recently, but also an increase in sickness.

Many students have missed classes because of different kinds of illnesses. Some professors–like Marathana Prothro–will send students back to their room if they express any symptoms of serious illness.

The campus nurse, Cyndi Ulrich, believes the campus outbreak is primarily due to close quarters.

“The original outbreak hit Bluffton right after Christmas Break,” said Ulrich. “Students brought illness from home.”

Another important aspect of avoiding illness is self care.

“Self care means taking care of yourself,” said Ulrich. “That means getting eight hours of sleep, eating regular meals and staying hydrated.”

Some tips from Ulrich include washing your hands, covering your mouth and nose with your elbow rather than your hand, and resting and seeking medical attention, if symptoms persist.

“I always push for vaccines,” said Ulrich. “Even though the strains may be different, the vaccines are still helpful.”

Some non-traditional remedies have also been suggested by other faculty, staff and students, as well.

One method is to cut an onion in half, put one half cut side up somewhere in your room and slice the other half. At night, put a slice of onion on the sole of each foot and cover them with socks. The onion hanging out in your room is said to pull toxins and germs out of the air while the onions in your socks will draw out them out of your body, as the feet are a natural depositor for those things.

Another method is to use essential oils. Diffusing a blend of oils like Thieves or OnGuard, as well as rolling the blends on your wrists, has proven to be a successful preventative measure for some. Peppermint oil is a natural fever-buster. Drink peppermint tea or roll peppermint oil on your neck, wrists and feet to break that fever.

Garlic can be used as a natural remedy, too. Buy and mince a small amount of fresh garlic and steep in it hot water to create a “tea.” If you can’t stand the taste, you can add honey or maple syrup. This helps fight off sickness already present in your body.

Not only are students on campus feeling sick, people all over the world are suffering a similar illness.

The Center for Disease Control produces a weekly surveillance report regarding the status of the United States influenza population.

Just this week in America there have been 10 child deaths due to the flu. Of the 50 states, 46 are reporting that over 20 percent of their deaths are due to the flu. This number increased more than three percent from last year.

Influenza is described by the CDC as “a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.” Symptoms include, but aren’t limited to, headaches, runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, fatigue and vomiting. These symptoms can vary in severity and length of time.

On Dec. 27, 2017, the CDC released a health advisory regarding two specific types of influenza. Not only are these strands causing problems in North America, they are also tackling people worldwide.

The CDC recommends getting vaccinated for the flu and being treated with antiviral medication as soon as any symptoms arise.

People are the most contagious during the first three to four days of their illness. Students and faculty are encouraged to wash their hands and stay home if they are sick.

And, don’t forget, drinking lots of water, getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly and consuming Vitamin C and D could help you prevent and fight off this illness.

For more information contact Nurse Ulrich, located in the Health Center.

About the author

Sophie Hobbs

Hometown: Lewisburg, Ohio
Major: Communication
I'm working for the Wit because I love writing and I want people to know what's happening on campus!
An interesting fact: My sister and I share a birthday, but she's eight years older than me.
Career Goals: To enjoy working and to be able to follow my morals and ethics in the career I choose.

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