Hey Muleriders! It’s that time of year again: flu season. It’s arguably the yuckiest time of the year, and you’re likely to know someone who has come down with the flu this year. Let’s all take some initiative and fight back a little! I took a trip over to the second floor of the Reynolds Center and visited University Health Services, or in layman’s terms, the nurse’s office. I did some chatting with a few people there, but I had an in-depth conversation with Mandy Hanson, the director of University Health Services, about ways we can all combat the flu this season.
So how many students have you had come in for the flu so far this semester?
“We’ve had a couple come in, and it’s a little surprising. We’re expecting more, so we’ll see how bad this year will be.”
What tips would you give to keep from getting the flu?
“The most important thing is to get a flu shot. We have them here in the office, and they’re free to students and faculty. They are limited though, so it’s first-come, first-serve. You should also stay away from anyone sick, no matter what. You’re going to end up getting sick yourself. If you are around anyone sick, wash your hands, clean all of the surfaces you’ve touched, use Germ-X, things like that. We also provide masks for those who feel like they’re coming down or have the flu.”
What do you do if you do come down with the flu?
“Don’t go out! You don’t want to get anyone else sick, and you need as much rest as possible. When you catch the flu, you’re normally infectious one day before symptoms appear and one-to-five days after you start showing symptoms and become ill. Come over to Health Services and we’ll get you taken care of. If you’re worried you’re getting sick, we have flu swabs for $10-$14.”
You can find University Health Services on the second floor of the Reynolds Center. They’re open from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm. Walk-ins are welcome, though appointments are preferred if possible. You can email Health Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (870)235-5237. If you have any medical concerns or questions after 5:00 pm, you can call the after hour number at (870)904-1447. You can find more information on the flu at cdc.gov/flu and more information about University Health Services at saumag.edu/health.
Stay well, Muleriders!