Jameson Filston, Campus Carrier Arts & Living Editor
It’s flu season again, and the Ladd center is filling up with sick students. The center has dealt with many cases of the flu and the stomach virus.
Many people infected with Influenza can be contagious a day before symptoms are apparent and up to 7 days after.
The CDC states that the best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. However, there are many other ways to prevent getting sick. Anita Errikcson, the Director of Health Services at Berry, said that cleaning hands with soap and keeping your hands away from the face are two easy ways to help prevent picking up an infection.
“You should always be washing your hands, whether you are sick or not,” Errikcson said.
The Ladd Center offers flu vaccines for students. The center starts offering flu shots in October and continues offering them until they run out. These are offered at no cost to students and with no appointment needed.
Emma Cordle, a nurse practitioner who works with the Ladd center, said that getting tested for the flu early is the best option if you show symptoms of the flu. If a patient tests positive for the flu, the Ladd Center will prescribe Tamiflu, an antiviral medicine, but only if they catch the infection early.
“If it is not within 48 hours of onset it is not recommended to start the medicine,” Cordle said.
The Rome medical services are strained because of a shortage of Tamiflu and an abundance of patients. The vaccine has not been as effective as profetionals hoped, but it is too early in the season to tell how it will go according to Cordle. The season can extend into March.
The Ladd Center will pull students that are sick out of class and will recommend taking Advil or Tylenol to control their fever. They recommend that those who have the flu stay away from others, which can pose a difficulty on a college campus. Sick students are kept out of class until they are without a fever for 24 hours. Errikcson said they base their procedures primarily off of the CDC guidelines.
It is hard to control a virus on a college campus because everyone is eating together, going to class together, and living together. It can also be hard for a student to take time off from school when they have classwork and projects to do.
“A lot of college students push through and do things when they are sick because they have deadlines, Cordle said, “they don’t want to miss anything.”
The Ladd Center sent an email to the Berry community on Wednesday, informing them of the symptoms of the flu and provided tips on how to prevent the spread of the infection. The email also encourages students who think they may have the flu to put on a provided mask when entering the center to help prevent the virus from spreading.