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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Ryley Wilcox
Ryley Wilcox
News Editor

I found my passion for journalism during my sophomore year of college, writing articles here and there for the North Wind. Since joining the staff this past semester as the news writer, I have been able...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Photo Courtesy of Heather Maurer
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Amelia Kashian April 18, 2024

How to avoid the flu this season

Influenza—the flu—has been widespread across the country this year, and that includes NMU’s campus. Since the beginning of the winter semester, many students have come down with Type A influenza and a different strain, Type B, is likely to peak over the next month, said Jean Reynolds, a registered nurse at the Marquette County Health Department.

“We are in the throes of a widespread flu,” said Reynolds.

The flu became widespread more rapidly around the country than in previous years, making people more susceptible to catching it, said Reynolds.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, muscle aches and upper respiratory problems. It can become severe quickly. If students start to experience these symptoms, they should get medical treatment within the first few days, said David Luoma, M.D. and medical director of the NMU Health Center who added that antiviral medications can decrease symptoms and the duration of illness.

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“Don’t try to tough it out. Get diagnosed. You don’t need to be so sick,” Luoma said.

Despite what some may think, the vaccine is still effective at this point in the season, although it takes one to two weeks before it reaches its full effect.

The flu is still far from over. Each season, different strains of the flu circulate around the country and the vaccine covers three to four different strains, Luoma said.

“It is still very much advised to continue to be vaccinated for personal and community protection through the end of the season,” Luoma said.

Treatment for the flu, as well as preventative measures, are available at the NMU Health Center in Gries Hall. There is sufficient supply of vaccines and no appointment is necessary. Students can walk in for a vaccination and a nurse will administer it then.

The Marquette County Health Department in Negaunee Township also offers vaccines to anyone. The vaccines are fully covered by most insurance plans. They can also help locate a clinic closest to your convenience.
The vaccine covers multiple strains and even if you’ve already had one strain, you are not immune to catching a different one, so it’s still important to vaccinate, Luoma said.
“We are not over with the flu by any means,” Luoma said.

If someone in close contact, such as a roommate or partner is diagnosed and tests positive for the flu, preventative antivirals can be very effective, especially if you have not been vaccinated. Preventative antivirals are not a sufficient form of everyday protection, but in the tight quarters of on-campus life they can help prevent illness from someone very close to you, Luoma said.

If you find yourself sick with the flu, it is important to stay home. Some are even advised to stay home until the fever has been gone for a full 24 hours, Reyonlds said. She encourages people to keep up with personal care, including good handwashing, covering coughs and lots of hydration and rest.

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