The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

62° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Flu season infects Arizona

    The first case of the flu in Arizona was reported yesterday, but Campus Health Service officials said they are prepared to combat the presence of the virus on campus.

    “”Obviously, the most important thing students should do is receive an immunization of the flu vaccine,”” said Dr. Harry McDermott, director of Campus Health.

    Flu season in Arizona began yesterday, when a woman from Maricopa County was diagnosed with the virus, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

    Campus Health has given out several hundred flu shots as of mid-November, said Judy Stivers, an immunization nurse.

    “”We have ordered about 1,200 flu vaccinations for the campus community,”” Stivers said. “”Flu vaccinations are encouraged for all healthy individuals, but especially those over 50 years of age or individuals with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and other immune-comprising conditions.””

    Vaccinations are also strongly encouraged for people who work in medical facilities and those who plan on traveling frequently during the next few months, Stivers said.

    The severity of each flu season fluctuates, and it is hard to predict its extent for each year, said Patti Woodcock, community relations manager for the Pima County Health Department.

    “”The severity of the flu during warm, wet winters such as this year are generally not as great compared to colder, dryer winters,”” Woodcock said. “”But warmer, more mild winters could encourage people to be more social and go out more, which ultimately increases transmission of the virus.””

    McDermott said Campus Health is developing contingency plans in case large numbers of students become ill from the virus.

    Information on flu prevention tips is available on the Campus Health Web site and is also being distributed through the residence halls, McDermott said.

    Tips include getting adequate amounts of sleep, frequently washing your hands with soap and water, eating a healthy and balanced diet, avoiding contact with those who have the flu and managing stress levels.

    The protection against the virus from the vaccine develops about two weeks after it is received and may last up to a year. The best time to get the vaccine is between September and December, according to the Campus Health Web site.

    The flu is caused by three types of influenza viruses that affect the upper respiratory tract, according to the Web site.

    Flu-like symptoms appear suddenly and include sore throat, high fever, sweats and chills, generalized aches, painful coughs, general weakness, decreased appetite, runny nose and nausea, according to the Web site.

    Influenza is most prevalent from November to April, with peak activity from January through March.

    No medicine can cure influenza and treatments include over-the-counter or prescription medications, in addition to drinking increased amounts of fluids and increased rest and sleep, according to the Web site.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search