Flu virus increases on CSU's campus, according to pharmacists

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Students at Columbus State University are concerned after learning there has been increased flu activity on campus.

Pharmacists at Walmart on Whittlesey Boulevard say they've seen an increased number of students from CSU come in with flu-like symptoms.

Representatives from the university say they've sent emails to students advising them to be careful of those symptoms in class, eating areas, and other common areas on campus. Pharmacists say to keep the flu numbers down on campus, students should take extra precaution.

"Sometimes you think maybe you have a cold. You don't realize it's the flu.  You're going to school. You're coming into contact with other people. You're not realizing that you're spreading the virus," says Walmart Pharmacy Manager Kristy Patterson.

Pharmacists at Walmart say they've seen close to 20 to 30 confirmed cases of the flu every day. Representatives with the Student Health Center at CSU say they are seeing many cases of the flu every day in their student body.

They are advising all students to take the following steps to prevent or treat the virus:

Preventing the Flu

  • Vaccination is the cornerstone of flu prevention. If you have not received a flu shot yet, you should still get one.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way. Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing or coughing or cough into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. An uncovered cough or sneeze can project respiratory droplets 3 to 6 feet or more.

Treating the Flu

  • If possible, stay home when you are sick. If you have the flu, a good rule of thumb is to stay home as long as you have a fever. You can return to school or work if you are fever-free for at least 24 hours without using fever-reducing medicines.
  • If you live in a residence hall, consider going to your permanent home until you have recovered.
  • Take medication to relieve the symptoms of flu.
  • Drink plenty of liquids. Avoid using alcohol and tobacco.
  • Rest.

With Georgia and the nation only halfway through the dangerous and widespread influenza season, Walmart is reminding Columbus State University students to consider others during the school year.

"Do not go to school. I hate to say it, but the best thing to do right now if you have the symptoms is to stay at home. This would be a reason to miss school because you don't want to spread to your classmates and to your fellow teachers," says Pharmacist Victoria Buckner.

Student Health Center at CSU and pharmacists at the Whittlesey's Walmart are encouraging you to get the flu vaccination before the peak of flu season.

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