With an unusually high number of students seeking treatment for flu symptoms this year, University Health Services (UHS) has advised that students take measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Dr. David S. Rosenthal '59, director of UHS, called this an "exceptional" year in the number of flu patients within the Harvard community.
"The number of flu patients fluctuates from year to year. And while this year is a big one, it's still not the biggest," he said.
According to Rosenthal, flu symptoms spread more rapidly in the close quarters of dormitories.
UHS administered many flu shots in the beginning of the year and is currently working with the Freshman Dean's Office to publicize the shot's benefits.
However, Rosenthal cautioned, the shot will not entirely prevent the flu's spread; good hygiene is also important to preventing the spread of the flu.
"Everybody needs to be careful after eating, drinking and using the toilet by washing their hands," Rosenthal said.
"We always encourage this with the dining hall staff and students eating in the cafeterias...Students should also make sure that they do not share food or drinks with sick roommates and that dirty Kleenex should be disposed of immediately," he said.
Rosenthal added that sleep builds resistance against flu symptoms. "It's pretty much common sense that when you are run-down, you are more susceptible to picking up a bug," he said.
Students who feel sick should check their temperatures; should a fever persist for more than 24 hours, students should check in with UHS for an examination, Rosenthal advised.
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