UVa Influenza Outbreak Could Spread to Charlottesville Area

By: Hailey Frances Email
By: Hailey Frances Email

February 1, 2008

An outbreak of influenza is hitting the University of Virginia's Grounds, health experts say now is the time to take action to protect yourself.

Since Monday, about 300 patients with flu-like symptoms went to
the Elson Student Health Center at UVa.

Only around twenty cases of influenza were reported between Thanksgiving and Semester-break at Uva.

"I've been doing this for 15 years now at UVa and I'd have to say this is probably the most explosive series of cases we've seen in a long time" said Dr. James Turner, Executive Director of Health Services at the University.

One contributing factor to the number of flu cases is the close living quarters of dormitories, and classrooms packed full of students.

In the next few weeks, expect this influenza bug to jump past UVa, and enter the Charlottesville area.

"Usually when it hits the University students then spreads out into concentric circles around the community" said Dr. Turner.

To protect yourself, Dr. Turner recommends getting a flu shot.

It will take 10-12 days to take effect, but it will likely protect you from sore throat, aching body, and temperatures between 103 and 104 degrees.

If you do fall ill, Doctors can prescribe medication that will shorten the lifespan of the bug.

The average flu symptoms last around 5 days.

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