Flu hits hard on Ohio State University campus

The director of OSU Student Health Services said about 50 percent of people tested for flu are positive

Ohio State University flu
Credit: WCMH

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — One of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory is taking a toll on the Ohio State campus.

“Basically everybody has it,” said OSU senior Connie Moreno. “My roommate has it.”

Director of OSU Student Health Services Dr. Gladys Gibbs said this year’s flu strains are aggressive, making students at OSU get sick faster.

“We have a heavy burden of flu on campus right this moment,” she said.

Dr. Gibbs said just this week, from January 15 to 18, 52 students were tested for the flu.

“Right now, we’re running just about 50 percent of people who are tested for flu are positive,” she said. “It’s usually much less than 10 percent.”

She said 21 students tested positive for type A influenza and two tested positive for type B.

“Good handwashing, hand sanitizer and college students are particularly at risk because they gather together in masses,” she said.

It’s also sorority rush season and Dr. Gibbs warned students to stay home if they’re sick — not only to get better, but also to limit the spread of the virus.

“It may not cause as much of a sore throat or sinus congestion as a cold does, but it’s really the total body involvement and ache that’s associated with the flu that takes college students out for the count,” she said.

Dr. Gibbs said flu symptoms are also worse this year, lasting anywhere from seven to ten days with high fevers.

Students said they’re taking precautions.

“I’m washing my hands, making sure if someone sneezes, I’m not around them,” said OSU freshman Chrissy Fears. “Just trying to stay away from people that are sick.”

Dr. Gibbs encouraged people who haven’t gotten the flu shot yet to go get one. It’s covered by most insurances, including the Ohio State student health insurance. Students can go to the Wilce Student Health Center to get vaccinated.

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