Campus moves to condition red over flu outbreak

The seasonal flu has made its way to campus affecting many students and staff members causing the flu code to change from a code yellow to a code red.

Keith Williamson, Vinson Health Center’s medical director, said the codes are a reflection of the number of cases on campus.

“Understand the operative definitions have nothing to do with whether the school is opened or closed,” Williamson said. “It has to do with [colors]. Green, I have not seen any cases of the flu. Yellow: I’m seeing sporadic flu. And red is when there’s sustained transmission on campus with multiple cases in consecutive days.”

Williamson said there was discussion of what code the campus should be at but it was interrupted when he “literally caught the flu” after catching a man who had passed out due to the flu.

With staff and students falling ill, professors have already taken steps to not only prevent themselves from getting sick but to keep students from spreading it as well.

Steve Hilton, associate professor of art, advised students to stay home if they are sick and said,

“If somebody comes to my class sick, then I send them home.”

Baylie Bradshaw, undecided freshman, has also been cautious about the flu and is taking her own steps to avoid getting it.

“I’ve washed my hands like crazy,” Bradshaw said. “My hands are getting so dry from washing them so much.”

And for those like Bradshaw who don’t want to catch the flu, Williamson was able to give a few tips of how students can minimize their chances of getting it.

“Wash your hands, cover your cough, stay away from crowded situations, and if someone around you is coughing stay at least 6 feet away from them, and don’t share personal items,” Williamson said.

Williamson also students said who feel ill should come to the health center and he can prescribe Tamiflu if needed.

POSTMASTER FROM THE VINSON HEALTH CENTER

“The campus is experiencing seasonal flu, consistent with the elevated activity in the rest of the country. The Vinson Health Center keeps the campus informed about flu activity in the area to encourage good health practices. We use three stages: green meaning no flu activity, yellow meaning one or two cases have been identified, and red meaning the Vinson Health Center is seeing several people a day with flu.

Our goal is to keep the campus healthy, by promoting flu prevention campus wide. Practice social-distancing. Wash your hands frequently, don’t share personal items, cover a cough, and stay away from people with a cough. Symptoms of the flu include fever, fatigue, body aches, headaches, and a dry cough. A physician can help with diagnosis and treatment if needed.

There is additional flu information for campus review on the Vinson Health Center.”

For more information contact the Vinson Health Center at 940-397-4231.