The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Runny nose? Stuffy head? It’s ‘snot’ what you think

Students find antibiotics not always a remedy

SMU is not the only place being significantly impacted by the flu virus this year. According to a study being conducted by the Centers for Disease Control, Texas is among the top six states reporting widespread cases of the flu.

The CDC does a weekly assessment of flu activity around the nation and places states into categories depending on its number of confirmed cases.

Although the virus is spreading on college campuses at a rapid rate, CDC officials say there is no cause to classify this year’s virus as an epidemic.

Students say that having the flu is miserable.

“I didn’t go to class while I was sick, which left me very behind,” senior advertising major Jaime Simpson said. “I stayed in bed for three days, but it helped a lot.”

Unlike a bacterial infection, the flu can not be remedied by antibiotics.

In some cases doctors suggest that antibiotics are not always the best option to combat severe symptoms. Patients who are consistently prescribed antibiotics can become immune to their positive effects because the body begins to recognize the antibodies.

It is not your imagination. Professors’ lectures are muffled by incessant coughing and sneezing in numerous classes this semester.

As a result, many students are finding their way to the SMU Memorial Health Center for relief from their symptoms.

On average, the health center sees 75 to 150 patients a day during this time of year.

“We see lots of muscle and joint injuries, but about a fourth of the time students come in to see me with complaints of sore throats and other cold like symptoms,” said health center insurance coordinator Diantha Roberts.

Many of the students who come in thinking they have the flu are mistaken.

“People think, in general, that if they feel really bad that antibiotics will help,” health center registered nurse Cheryl Black said. “If you have a bacterial infection, antibiotics are wonderful. If you don’t, they’re worthless.”

Black suggests that students practice good habits to prevent being infected by the flu or any other illness. While getting a flu shot does not guarantee that you will not get the flu, it’s a good first step.

“Maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, regular sleep, and decreased stress help lead to a stronger immune system,” Black said.

Black says that the immune system is bombarded by bugs all the time, and you just don’t know it because it keeps you healthy. Sometimes the immune system needs help getting rid of the infection.

During the beginning of spring semester, the health center began selling emergency cold care kits for $5.

They gave one kit to each resident assistant and hall director to help educate campus residents of its usefulness and availability. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, many of the medicines in the kit, which include decongestants, antihistamines, fever reducer, salt packets, cough drops and a thermometer, can aid in reducing the duration and intensity of the illness.

The health center advises to schedule an appointment if you are experiencing severe symptoms. New medications are available to reduce the duration of the illness, but these must be taken within forty-eight hours of onset.

The health center administers flu shots for those who have not been diagnosed with the flu for $10 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointment is necessary.

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