University Health Services (UHS) evaluated 115 students for influenza-like illness in the semester’s tenth week (Nov. 1–7), the fourth-highest total since the start of the academic year. ILI encounters made up 7.8 percent of all primary care visits. In the previous week, 72 students contacted UHS about flu-like symptoms.
“We had a few weeks there where activity was fairly low, but I think we’re going to see more people affected in the coming weeks,” says Sarah Van Orman, M.D., executive director of UHS.
“People really have to focus on good and thorough hand washing, covering their coughs and staying home if they get sick,” she says. “It’s important that we all do our part as much as possible to keep this flu from spreading.”
UW students and staff who get sick with flu symptoms are reminded to stay home and take care of themselves until they’ve been fever-free without fever reducers for at least 24 hours. People with “high-risk” medical conditions should contact their health care provider promptly if they develop flu-like symptoms. Most healthy people will recover within a week or so with self-care: plenty of rest and fluids, and ibuprofen or acetaminophen to manage their fever and body aches. If your symptoms don’t improve at all after three days, contact your health care provider.
Seek immediate medical attention if you develop any of the following symptoms:
–shortness of breath or trouble breathing
–pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
–severe or persistent vomiting
–confusion or sudden dizziness
–flu symptoms that improve but then return suddenly with fever and worse cough
Students who need a medical appointment or urgent medical advice can call UHS at (608) 265-5600.
“As for H1N1 vaccine, we’re working with all our community partners and following guidelines from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services as to how it should be distributed. Unfortunately, we don’t expect to receive vaccine for healthy students this week or probably next.”
UHS has H1N1 vaccine available for students who fall into the highest-risk groups including pregnant students, students who are caregivers for children under 6 months of age, and students age 18 or less with underlying health conditions such as asthma or diabetes which place them at higher risk of complications from influenza.
For tips on how you can lower your risk of getting sick and what to do if you do get sick, read “What You Can Do About Flu.”
For additional information:
Link to Week 10: Nov. 1-7 (PDF)