Illness springs from fall

Students across campus are already feeling the effects of the change in weather, and flu season is just getting started.

“Flu season runs from October to May, with peak months usually seen in January and February,” said Health and Services’ nurse practitioner Mary Elizabeth Costello. “It is not uncommon to see students who become susceptible to colds/allergens or even the flu. Many illnesses we see are caused by viruses.”

Sophomore education major Kristina Ripp said she has already been sick this semester.

“With the change of the seasons, I was affected by what I thought to be seasonal allergies,” Ripp said. “I believe it may actually have been a cold because of the length of time that I was affected by it.

She added: “It made it hard for me to participate in my major classes.”

Senior diplomacy major Gerald Prohigh has not been affected by the fall weather.

“I had a cold earlier in the semester, but I don’t think it was because of the weather,” Prohigh said. “I’ve never gotten my roommates sick, nor have they ever made me sick.”

Prohigh said he got over his cold in under a week by going about school business as usual and drinking a lot of orange juice.

In addition to getting an adequate amount of sleep and sticking to a nutritional diet, Costello advises dormers and other students to keep living arrangements hygienic to prevent the spread of germs and to follow other healthy habits such as hand washing, covering coughs and not sharing beverages.

Most importantly, Costello recommend- ed that SHU students take advantage of the free flu vaccine available on campus.

“The flu vaccine should be taken every year as the virus is always changing,” Costello said. “Any student who is concerned about their health should call Health Services for an appointment. Most patients can be accommodated the same day they call.”

Vaccines will be given by Health Services in the University Center on Tuesday, Oct. 22 from noon to 4 p.m.

Staffed with doctors, nurse practitioners and registered nurses, the university’s Health Service sees approximately 30 students a day, providing care for routine illnesses, vaccinations and wellness visits such as physical and gym exams.

Its office is located on 303 Centre St., across from the campus main gate.

Natalie Rebisz can be reached at natalie.

Author: Natalie Rebisz

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