UWP out of flu vaccine

Student Health Services distributed 330 free flu vaccinations during Fall 2012, depleting their supply of the vaccine for what is likely the remainder of the academic year.

The amount of ill students with influenza calling into SHS seeking medical advice increased just before the holiday season, student health nurse Jean Schlueter said.  The increase in calls could be a factor in the empty stock.

“(SHS) orders a certain amount every fall,” Schlueter said.  “This year we only had 10 to 20 more inquiries than total vaccines.”

However, vaccines are still available at Walgreens, Hartig Drug Store and through the Grant County Health Department.

The amount of calls from sick students has been low since school began again in January, Schlueter said.  However, the influenza virus is still circulating within the general public, and students and faculty should take precautions to help prevent infection.

The best way for a person to prevent illness is to wash their hands often and thoroughly, as well as not sharing food or drinks with others said Schlueter.

The illness comes on fast, with common symptoms like fever, sore throat and vomiting.

“It felt like my throat was burning every time I swallowed,” said Alex Graham, a freshman media studies major who contracted the virus for six days over winter break.  “It was horrible.  One day I had a fever of 103 degrees.”

Should a student become ill, they are urged not to attend class or work and drink plenty of fluids, Schlueter said.

Dining Services provides a “pack-out” option to students living in the residence halls who are either too ill or pose too great a risk to the health of other students to go to the dining halls.

“A pack-out is where a resident can ask their (resident adviser) to get their meal for them,” said Jennifer Lewis, Dining Services Meal Access Assistant.

A pack-out consists of a serving of grain, fruit, vegetable, protein, a drink and, if possible, a soup.

“If a student is very sick, I would offer them a pack out,” said Lewis, who is also a senior adaptive physical education and health promotion major.  “There is no need to risk other students’ health.”

For more information about preventative measures, symptoms and ways to treat the flu, go to uwplatt.edu/studenthealth.