Germs are hitting OCU hard, and students are feeling the pinch of sick days at the start of the semester.
Currently, several strains of illness are criss-crossing the OCU campus, including influenza, strep, mono, the common cold, and stomach bugs. While the more mild forms of these diseases can be treated with rest, lots of fluids, and over-the-counter medicine to control symptoms, the other diseases are very serious and should be treated by a medical professional.
Influenza cases have doubled since the 2014 flu season. As of January 22, 47 people have died of flu in the state, and over 1,200 people have been hospitalized since September. The flu can be easily mistaken with a common cold, but symptoms are usually far more severe. If you have a cough, runny nose, fever over 100 degrees, body aches, and fatigue, it is best to visit a doctor to receive a flu test. You can schedule an appointment at OCU Campus Health at 405-208-5090. The flu is spread by infected saliva, meaning that it is vitally important to wash your hands, and to cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze. A little caution goes a long way.
Strep is characterized by a deeply sore throat, a sudden high fever, chills, aches, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Again, a simple test can be administered to determine if you have strep or not. Strep is also spread through coughs and sneezes, and by sharing food or drinks with an infected person. Another good tip for cold and flu season: keep your food to yourself, no matter how tempting a sip of your friend’s Diet Coke might look.
Mono is also an extremely serious disease, which spreads easily on college campuses. Nicknamed “the kissing disease,” mono is easily spread through saliva (but not just kissing–it can be passed by sharing drinks, food, or toothbrushes as well!). Mono presents itself in very swollen lymph nodes in the neck, sore throat, high fever, body aches, muscle weakness, and fatigue. Mono can be diagnosed through a blood test.
While the three diseases listed above are the most dangerous, it is important to always take care of yourself, no matter how sick you are.
If you’re feeling ill, make a list of the things you need to do, and then decide what is “losable” for the day. Cancel any plans that do not absolutely have to be done, and take the extra time to nap or rest. Also make sure to get plenty of fluids and healthy food while ill, to ensure you’re safe from dehydration.
If you have any concern about how you’re feeling, make sure to make an appointment with Campus Health. Their office is open from 8:30 to 11:15 a.m. and from 1 till 4:15 p.m. Walk-ins are accepted, but by making an appointment, you might cut down your wait time.
If you are unable to make it to the Campus Health Clinic, there are several emergency care clinics in the area. Find a list of them here.