Campus prepares for flu season

By Coriá Bowen

Flu and cold season is approaching, and students and staff are preparing for it.

“When you have the flu, you feel pretty rotten,” Kristen Brown, a clinical administrator for University Health Services, said.

Various factors cause the spread of germs during flu season, Brown said.

“It’s safe to say that we are all in doors more during the colder months,” she said. “It’s the enclosed living that causes the flu to spread more than in the warmer months.”

Many students visit the clinic reporting flu symptoms.

“We always see a surge starting in November and we usually go through February with students coming in with upper respiratory symptoms,” Brown said. “Sometimes it’s the flu and sometimes it’s a cold.”

The clinic is well prepared for an influx of students.

“We usually don’t have any problems seeing patients and can normally get them in the same day,” Brown said. “We staff the clinic knowing that these surges will happen.”

UK’s custodial staff is also preparing for flu season.

“Custodial Services strives to provide a clean, safe environment for all students, faculty, staff and visitors of the University of Kentucky at all times and especially during the flu season,” Bob Wiseman, vice president for Facilities Management Office said in an email to the Kernel.

Sanitary precautions are taken daily. “All public area surfaces are cleaned daily with a disinfectant cleaner,” Wiseman said.

All public surface areas are those that may come in contact with individuals, he said.

“Also provided are hand sanitizers located throughout campus for the protection and convenience of everyone,” Wiseman said in the email.

Some students are taking special care to avoid the flu.

Todd Bell, an elementary education senior, said he had the flu last year.

“My flu was so bad that I had to go home to Elizabethtown,” Bell said. “So obviously I missed a good amount of class.”

Bell said he is not nervous about getting the flu this year. “I know I have to be smarter about washing my hands and taking extra precautions,” Bell said.

Stress on students can also trigger the flu, Brown said, especially in the fall semester when stress increases.

“We are all inside, stress and a lack of sleep are perfect storm for students to get ill this time of year,” she said.

Brown gave tips for students.

“I would always encourage people to wash their hands and to cover their cough,” she said. “Being inside in the colder months make it easier for all germs to spread.”

For more tips and information about how to prepare for flu season, visit uky