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Health Services Warns of Risks From Flu Outbreak

Samantha Reposa, Managing Editor

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Tissues and hand sanitizer have become essentials for all bearing the cold, as people are taking all precautions to avoid attracting the flu this season.

The University of New Haven’s health service offices recently sent out an active “Health Alert”for the campus community regarding the outbreak of influenza virus (the flu) that has already spread among students.

The influenza virus is a respiratory illness and can be contracted through the air or direct contact with someone who carries symptoms, which include sudden fever, aching muscles, sore throat, runny nose, headache, and eye pain. The virus can be potentially dangerous for those with chronic medical conditions (asthma, diabetes, etc.) or women who are expecting.

“Those who present symptoms need to self-quarantine themselves for their own recovery and to help decrease the spread of the flu to others,” Health Services said in an email. “Those who can go home to recuperate should do so.”

The influenza virus usually sees its peak around mid-February, but a recent spike in positive cases according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The university typically sees a spike in diagnosed cases upon the return for the spring semester and close living situations only increase the number of those affected.

To help avoid getting the flu this season the try to stay isolated (a recommended six feet of personal space) from those who are experiencing symptoms, wash and sanitize your hands often, and avoid touching your face.

If students show symptoms of the flu, Health Services recommends contacting the office to speak with one of the nurses or contacting their personal physician’s office.

Health Services also encourages students who show signs of the flu to fill out their Flu Notification Form online and list the symptoms they are experiencing. The form will then notify Health Services about the students symptoms and they will follow up with them daily to ensure they are taking the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and also feel better. If the student is on a sport team, a notification will be sent to the coach, and instructors will also be notified.

“We are not telling instructors to release students from assignments or quiz, it is just a notification that the student is ill,” Paula Cappuccia, Director of Health Services, said. “The students then have follow with instructors to make up assignments.”

This flu season, Health Services’ advice is to stock up on sanitizer, Gatorade, and Saltine crackers to help fellow students beat out the virus.

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Health Services Warns of Risks From Flu Outbreak