By: Nick Porter
CHATTANOOGA, TN (UTC/ The Loop) – Tennessee joins 11 other states who are experiencing a flu outbreak. Tennessee’s outbreak is considered in the most severe category listed by the Centers for Disease Control.
North Georgia has experienced similar issues including two flu related deaths on Monday according to the Times Free Press.
The epidemic has not affected UTC as much as the rest of the area, according to Timothy Jones, the director of Student Health Services at UTC. The university has had around 20 cases this outbreak, which is a relatively low number Jones says. He states that none of the cases have been too severe, and that compared to the rest of the area UTC has been blessed.
Kelli Findlay, a senior in the communication department, told me what she does to stay healthy during the flu season. She said, “I don’t get a flu shot because my friend got it and had a much harder time with getting sick. I would rather just carry around hand sanitizer and take vitamins.”
For students who did not get the vaccine like Kelli, here are a few pointers from Dr. Jones.
- First and foremost wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face.
- If someone you know is affected by the flu try to avoid contact or being close to the person.
- Also use paper towels instead of cloths to dry hands and clean surfaces.
If you feel like you may have the flu Dr. Jones says there are a few symptoms associated with the virus.
- Dry hacking coughs and a sore throat are some immediate signs.
- After that fever or chills can occur along with muscle or body aches.
- Dr. Jones also says that the only way to truly know if you have the flu is to visit a healthcare provider.
Appointments can be made with Student Health Services by going to their website or by calling the clinic at 423-425-2266.
If any students are looking for more tips to lead a healthy lifestyle, the university offers campus wide health promotions including activities and presentations. For more information visit their UTC webpage.