The flu that has gained attention across the country has finally hit Pullman, according to recent reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that show a rise in cases in this area.
Almost daily WSU students visit Health and Wellness Services (HWS) for symptoms similar to influenza, said Dr. Dennis Garcia, senior associate medical director of Health and Wellness to WSU News.
"With influenza, students often tell me their chests hurt, and their coughs tend to be dry and raspy,” Garcia said to WSU News.
According to a Washington State Department of Health’s Influenza Update, 3.1 percent of emergency room visits from Jan. 13 – Jan. 19 were for influenza-like symptoms.
The disease became widespread in Western Washington after Christmas, but was only seen sporadically in Eastern Washington at that time.
"My guess is that some students who traveled to the west side during semester break brought the virus back with them,” Garcia said to WSU News. "Confirmed cases have been going up ever since.”
Students are more susceptible, Garcia said to WSU News, because of skipped meals and lack of sleep.
Garcia said to WSU News that a flu shot, though not a perfect solution, is the best step students can take to protect themselves from the strain of the virus.
Flu shots are covered by student health insurance at Health and Wellness, HWS billing officer Merry Lawrence said to WSU news.