According to the Missouri Weekly Influenza Surveillance Report, 8,022 flu tests came back positive, which is almost two thousand more people than this time last year.
The spread of the flu resulted in Jeanne Daffron, provost, to send out a mass email suggesting students that have symptoms of the flu to stay home from classes.
According to the email faculty should excuse students who are ill without requiring a note from a physician but must inform their professor as soon as possible.
The Esry Student Health Center had one of their first positive flu tests the first week of school and is expecting to see more, Jennifer Greiner, registered nurse said.
“Last week was the first time we have seen anybody with the flu, we had one test positive. Most of everyone that’s been coming in has had sore throats, sneezing, coughing and that sort of thing. Just the normal cold virus, nothing with a fever. You guys have been on break for a while so I expect this week is probably going to hit us hard if it’s going to,” Greiner said.
The symptoms of the flu and the cold are very similar, but there are a few differences between them.
“The flu comes on suddenly, you know the term ‘like you’ve been hit by a truck’. You’ll have a headache, a fever, sore throat, a cough is there. The main difference is that it’s sudden, [but] the cold is gradual. You can have some of the same symptoms, but usually without the high fever. You still have the cough and runny nose.”
To those who are sick Greiner suggests taking supportive measures, such as staying home, avidly washing hands, drinking fluid and seeing your primary care physician.
“If you are exhibiting symptoms and need to get a note come to the health center and get tested for the flu,” Greiner said.