Cold temperatures affecting students

During the winter months, students can find themselves with any number of illnesses. The flu has been one of the most common viruses that has been spreading around campus this year (See for more information).

In addition to the influenza, the common cold, strep throat, and stomach viruses are other illnesses that students get around this time of year.

“It’s not so much the cold that causes [the illnesses], it’s being inside,” said Mary Norris, director of the Student Health Center. “In the summer we have it a little bit better. We’re able to open the windows, you’re able to clear the air out of the room.”

The lack of air flow and the heat indoors make it harder to kill the germs and allows them to spread easier, as does physical contact.

“A lot of things are because of sharing drinks, any kind of kissing, or contact is an easy to keep sharing it all the way around,” said Norris.” Norris lists eating healthy, getting exercise, avoiding others who are sick, not sharing drinks or utensils, and especially hand washing as ways that students can avoid getting sick.

“It’s all sort of common sense in there, but it’s hard when you’re in a small room with a lot of people. But hand washing is probably the most important,” Norris said.

In response to the increased illnesses, Health Services now work straight 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We’ve expanded our hours and we don’t break for lunch.” said Norris.

Norris says that if students are not feeling well, to call and book an appointment with the Student Health Center. Appointments are available every fifteen minutes in order to fit within a student’s schedule as best possible.

“If you’re not feeling well, please make sure that you take advantage of what’s available here. Come in and been seen, and let us take care of you,” said Norris.

There are also off-campus sites, such as St. Francis Prompt Care, that students can visit during weekends or anytime Health Services is not open.