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Editorial

Flu season brings up concerns for student’s health

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February 13, 2020

There has been lots of coverage world-wide about the on the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The coronavirus has been found in Wisconsin, according to health officials. It is important that students take health precautions to stay safe from illness.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has confirmed the first case of 2019 novel coronavirus in Wisconsin coming from the Madison area. Though this finding does not pose a high risk to the general public. The person had also recently traveled to China, and most likely had contact with the virus while there. They remained in in-home isolation, and are now recovered, according to WISN news.

According to an email message from Alice Reilly-Myklebust, the Director of Student Health and Counseling Services, the risk in the U.S. for the coronavirus remains low. Though Reilly-Myklebust said that the risk for influenza is higher, and students should take preventative measures.

Symptoms for coronavirus can range from mild to severe. For mild symptoms, an individual may think they have a cold. When the virus is severe, the symptoms include trouble breathing, some patients even having lesions on their lungs, according to ABC news.

Symptoms for influenza, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention include running a fever, or feeling feverish, coughing, sore throat, running or stuffy nose, fatigue, muscle aches and headaches. Some individuals have experienced vomiting or diarrhea, but this is less common.

Some things students can do to avoid illness is getting a flu shot. Regular hygiene is always helpful too, like washing hands and sneezing into a tissue. Though there are many stressors associated with missing class, it is better to take the time needed to recover instead of risking spreading the illness.

If a student notices coronavirus or influenza-like symptoms, they should contact a doctor and share any recent travel history or possible exposure. Certain clinical health services such as basic office visits and influenza vaccines are covered by Student Health Services for current UWRF students. Students should call ahead for an appointment at 715-425-6701.