Flu causes empty classes


Empty seats in class and full ones in health centers seem to be due to a new strain of the Flu, said Meryl St. John, the operations director at UVM’s Health Services.

“It’s the strain H3N2, which is affecting younger people and the elderly,” she said.

“The strain genetically drifted, allowing it to be more prominent than expected,” St. John said.

Symptoms of this flu are similar to symptoms of the regular flu, according to the Health Center.

Taking simple preventative action such as washing your hands, getting a flu shot and in some extreme cases of the flu, social isolation is recommended, St. John said.

Bed rest, hydration and over-the-counter medications are suggested to those who have already fallen victim to the virus, she said.

Junior Emily Schmidt said she caught the flu along with two other floormates. She missed three days of class, she said.

“My body felt as though it was shutting down,” Schmidt said.

“I was out of breath and extremely tired. After fainting, I called the health center right away,” she said.

St. John said that college campuses are extremely vulnerable  to contagious diseases and sicknesses.

“We are all living together, sharing the same facilities and at times we share things that should not be shared.”

Junior Jenna Waite hasn’t been affected with the flu, but says many of her professors have been sick.

“Three of my classes alone have been cancelled this week,”  she said.

Students say that the flu epidemic has even infected social media.

“Even on Yik Yak, the recent flu development has been referred to as the plague and students have reported precautionary quarantine,” junior Ellie Young said.

Although students are currently living in what is considered the peak of the flu epidemic, they can look forward to it diminishing, according to the Health Center.