We've had the usual respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses circulating among the students during the past several months, causing any combination of the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, congestion and runny nose, prolonged cough, body aches, headache, fatigue and/or vomiting and diarrhea. Since the majority of the illnesses are viral in origin, antibiotics are rarely needed, and supportive care and rest are key to management.
This week, we've had our first case of Influenza (the Flu), which causes a more severe illness with high fever and most of the above symptoms within 24 hours. The symptoms are more pronounced and may translate into a week of missed classes, which can be a serious problem this late into the semester. Moreover, the Flu can be a more complicated illness for students with other chronic conditions, including asthma and diabetes.
Needless to say, prevention is the best treatment, and so we highly recommend that all students come up to the clinic to be vaccinated against the Flu, especially those living in close community with others such as in the residence halls and in apartments both on and off campus. We have the new intradermal Flu vaccine with the tiny needle (you may have seen the TV commercial with the porcupine), so there is less muscle soreness. We reassure the students that the vaccine cannot give the Flu to anyone, although a little achiness or low grade fever afterwards is a good sign that the immune system is rapidly making protective antibodies. And, best of all - as long as we have information to bill insurance, the vaccine is free (no copay).
Please feel free to contact us in the clinic if you have any questions: 972.721.5322 or Dr Dekat at firstname.lastname@example.org.