By Robby Gadd, Chattanooga, Tenn.– Medical professionals at Student Health Services diagnosed more students with the flu during the first week of this 2015 spring semester than this time last year.
“We have definitely got an influx of flu cases,” said Carol Oglesby, assistant director of Student Health Services.
Chattanooga ranked No. 1 in the country for most flu activity in a metro area, based on statistics released by Walgreens for the week beginning Dec. 29, 2014.
The professionals at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention recommend everyone over the age of six months receive an annual flu shot.
Student Health Services offer student flu shots for $15 and require no appointment.
Aside from getting the flu vaccine, Oglesby urged students to take additional cautionary measures to prevent catching the flu.
Oglesby recommended using hand sanitizer after visiting densely populated areas on campus such as the University Center, Starbucks and the library. She also suggested keeping hands away from the face as much as possible.
Junior Elaine Kraker, Memphis, caught the flu last year, and missed a full week of classes before exams.
“It affected how I did on my finals,” Kraker said. “If I had not been sick, then I probably would have aced my finals.”
According to the CDC and Oglesby, a person should seek medical attention if they experience a combination of symptoms including fever, body aches, cough, sore throat and fatigue. It is important to note, however, that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Students should stay at home and not attend on-campus classes, if they have been diagnosed with the flu, Oglesby said. “You expose everyone else, and you make your immune system weaker.”
If you suspect you have the flu or flu-like symptoms, visit Student Health Services or their website at http://www.utc.edu/student-health-services/ to schedule an appointment.
In order to get vaccinated, visit one of the places below.
UTC Student Health Services offered flu shots for $15 and is located in room 205 of Maclellan Gymnasium.
Erlanger Pharmacy, 979 East 3rd St., offers free flu shots based on insurance.
Walgreens located at 110 N. Market St. offers flu shots for about $30.
CVS Pharmacy offers flu shots for $31.99 at 1150 Hixson Pike.
Rite Aid Pharmacy, 3401 Broad St., costs $30 for a flu shot.