Flu spreading rapidly

By Theresa Evans

The health center encourages students with flu-like symptoms to come in for an evaluation.

Influenza has made its way to Rider, affecting at least 30 individuals on the Lawrenceville and Westminster campuses.

Director of Student Health Services Elizabeth Luciano wants students to take the proper steps to prevent spreading germs.

Luciano recommends that people avoid close contact with sick individuals. She also suggests that people frequently wash their hands, disinfect surfaces and objects that could be contaminated with germs, cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing and, if unwell, remain at home.

“I would expect to continue to see new cases of influenza,” Luciano said. “The flu activity is still high in New Jersey.”

Luciano advises students to avoid classes until they are symptom-free for 48 hours. If they are unsure if they can return to school or work, they should ask their health care provider.

“Anyone diagnosed with the flu or flu-like illness, we recommend that you stay home to recuperate and to avoid spreading to others,” said Luciano.

Junior sports media major Patrick Auld had the flu for about a week and had to miss three days of classes. 

“My professors were very easygoing about it,” said Auld. “They knew how bad the flu season was, so they understood. Plus, they didn’t want me getting anyone else sick.”

Reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conclude that the 2017-18 influenza vaccine “reduces the odds of getting the disease by 33 percent overall.”    

“The flu vaccine is still the best protection to prevent the flu. It is not too late to receive the vaccine,” Luciano said. “The health center still has a limited supply available for students. The cost of the vaccine is $20.”

Auld is unsure about how he came in contact with the influenza germs, but knows they are “always around this time of year.”

“Take it serious,” he said. “The flu is not fun and you don’t want to miss out on daily life activities. It can happen to anyone.”

Luciano added, “If you are a student and believe that you might have the flu, we recommend that you come to the health center for evaluation or see your health care provider. If you are staff or faculty, we recommend that you contact your health care provider.”

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