SFA has plans in place to prevent flu outbreak

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The transition from fall to spring can present its problems on college campuses, particularly during flu season. Students return from all points beyond.

Stephen F. Austin State University here in Nacogdoches is no different than other universities across the nation. There's a big concern for the spread of flu. On college campuses germs can pass quickly in classrooms, hallways and dormitories, like the one behind me.

Most every time a student passes through a doorway at SFA they're subtly reminded to keep their germs to themselves.

"They're just telling us to wash our hands and make sure we don't drink after other people and be more careful than before we left for the break," Ahvay Carlton, an SFA student, said.

East Texas News asked, "Does it make you feel like you're in first grade?"

Carlton laughed and said, "Yes."

The reminders are for their own good. So is the availability of hand sanitizer sitting around in the classrooms. Students receive e mail blasts about available flu shots.

"We have had a few cases of the flu," Dr. Penny Jeffrey, a Health Services physician at SFA. We had six cases last week that were positive. We have had some type A and some type B, but it has not been a large outbreak at this point."

Rene Phillips has had the flu twice in four months. She explained that it was "because you don't want to miss class, you tend to come to school sick."

Phillips likely infected someone around her.

"I felt bad about that, but someone came to class and got me sick," Phillips said.

That is another reason why students are encouraged to pay the $20 bucks for a flu shot.

"And the flu is nothing to play with at all," Sable Crawford, an SFA student said.

Sable got her flu shot. So did Dr. Jeffery.

"I can't afford to be sick for 2 weeks and then have my family sick for 2 weeks after that," Jeffrey said.

And Carlton?

"I'm about to do that right now," Carlton said.

The protection should last them until warmer weather arrives.

The nice weather has been pleasant, but health professionals like nice days for one specific reason. They say people tend to get outdoors and away from cramped quarters where germs are likely to spread.

Earlier, SFA and other universities across Texas obtained free flu vaccines to share. Most have run out of the free stuff, but you can pay, about $20 for a flu shot. It's not too late for it to do you some good.

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