Flu season ails students, doctors

By Hayes Gardner

With winter comes freezing temperatures, piles of snow and horrible road conditions. Yet, besides the weather, winter brings another problem: illness — specifically, the flu.

“The flu is one of the biggest problems we see,” Chief of Clinical Medicine from UK University Health Service Ann Hays said.

Because of the severity of the flu, it needs to be closely monitored, Hays said. It is a perennial issue that is the focus of medical efforts every winter.

The flu has few permanent threats, but it causes sick students to miss countless hours of class every winter.

Though less brutal than other illnesses, the flu is a large issue due to its persistent symptoms and high infectivity.

“Recently, I have noticed a great number of students missing in all of my classes and even just walking around campus,” undeclared freshman Kyler Brooks said.

UHS encourages students this winter to minimize the spread of germs and keep as many people healthy as possible.  However, UHS will treat anyone with the flu — or any other sickness — once an appointment is scheduled. In years past, the winter flu season has been a busy time of the year for medical personnel.

There are always more students needing medical attention during wintertime, leaving UHS in a hectic position.

Last year’s H1N1 virus crisis saw UHS scrambling to treat all of the sick students.

“We had to cancel staff meetings and shorten patient appointments to see all of our patients,” Hays said.

Precautionary measures can be taken, and flu shots are available.  The cost is $10 with a student ID and $20 for anyone else. In order to get a shot, one must make an appointment.

Appointments can be made by calling 859-323-APPT, or 859-323-2778. Medical advice from a professional is given at 859-323-INFO, or 859-323-4636. UHS is located at 830 S. Limestone, next to Kentucky Clinic and The Wethington Building, across from Speedway and Shell gas stations.