College of Arts and Sciences

Influenza Self-Care, Prevention Tips

January 20, 2011

MACOMB, IL – The flu bug has arrived on the Western Illinois University campus and is making its presence known.

According to Mary Margaret Harris, director of WIU's Beu Health Center, center staff are seeing an increase in patients suffering from flu-like symptoms.

"Seasonal influenza has definitely arrived on our campus, so we all need to be vigilant about our health and well-being," she added. "Prevention is often the best medicine to avoid the virus: wash your hands frequently, get enough rest, stay home if you're not feeling well, don't share cups or eating utensils with others and get a flu shot."

For those who are experiencing flu-like symptoms, self-care should be practiced as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). [www.cdc.gov/flu/takingcare.htm].

Seasonal flu symptoms, which develop quickly, include fever and a sore throat and/or coughing, body aches, chills and headache. The symptoms of the common cold are generally much milder than the flu, develop more slowly and usually do not include a fever.

Beu Health Center is offering seasonal flu shot clinics at no cost for students from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25 and Thursday, Jan. 27 in the University Union Concourse on the Macomb campus. According to a recent press release by the Illinois Department of Public Health, flu activity in Illinois is increasing, and staff members at Western's Beu Health Center are encouraging students to help prevent the spread of flu by taking advantage of the free seasonal flu shots. Students will need to present their WIU student I.D. cards to obtain the shots, which will be administered as long as supplies last.

"Although each influenza season is unpredictable, we typically see the peak in January and February," stated Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health director. "It is not too late to get a flu shot. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from getting influenza and potentially becoming sick for a week or longer."

For more information, contact Beu Health Center at (309) 298-1888. Learn more about Beu's services at beu.wiu.edu and visit Beu on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BeuHealthCenter.

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606