Casey Kelly, News Editor
Flu season has arrived at Stetson University. According to Cathy Rinehart, registered nurse at Student Health Services, there have been five confirmed cases of influenza on cam- pus in the past two months. Rinehart says she expects to see an increase in the number of students with flu-like symptoms through March.
This year, Student Health Services has the ability to detect students by administering a rapid influenza test. “Students are tested if the examining provider detects symptoms that warrant the influenza test,” Rinehart said.
Around 3,000 people in Florida die every year from flu or flu-like symptoms. Since October 2013, 12 people have died in the Gainesville area alone. This flu season there have been reports of H1N1, a strain of swine flu that hasn’t been active since the 1970s. Very young and very old people are at a greater risk for the flu than middle-aged people because they are less immune to this strain.
“A flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself against the flu,” Rinehart said.
Students can purchase “flu kits” from Health Services for $5. The kit includes a thermometer, mask, hand sanitizer, cough drops, a bottle of acetaminophen, tissues, Gatorade, Cup-a-Soup and an information page on the flu.