Flu spreads through North Carolina, across college campuses
Sneezing, coughing and wheezing may not be the greatest way to ring in the new year, but that’s exactly what a typical January in North Carolina often brings with it.
For students who live in close quarters, germs are everywhere, including the flu. The strain affecting North Carolina this year is causing some concern, according to Dr. Ginette Archinal, medical director of student health and university physician.
“The difference this year is that a number of the deaths have been people you wouldn’t normally expect would die from the flu,” Archinal said. “Normally the deaths we see are young people, old people, people with chronic illnesses. Most of the deaths have been people between 25 and 64, some of whom have had preexisting conditions.”
With the flu affecting younger people, it’s important for students to know that germs are all around.
In a 15-minute period at Lakeside, more than 50 people may open the door to enter the building. Chances are a few of these people have coughed or sneezed during the day without washing their hands.
“I think it definitely makes sense that so many people would be getting sick,” said freshman Hope Nolin, “And it makes you more conscious that you should wash your hands before you eat or just be washing your hands all the time.
It may not be possible protect yourself from all germs, but here a few things students can do to stay healthy:
- Use hand sanitizer when you’re on the go.
- Avoid sharing food, beverages and chapstick.
- Wash your hands thoroughly (singing “Happy Birthday” twice to yourself is a good guide to how long you need to wash).
“It sounds so basic but when you’re chatting, when you’re socializing, you forget those things, and they’re the things that keep you healthy,” Archinal said. “And of course, absolutely get the flu vaccine. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine.”