Flu spreads at UCA, school urges students to use prevention methods

The University has asked students to not attend classes, stay away from friends and more if they're feeling ill.

CONWAY, Ark. (KTHV) – This flu season is taking its toll here in Arkansas as the death toll reaches nearly 70.

It does not help that the virus is so contagious - especially in places like college campuses.

That's why places like the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) are making sure the virus does not wipe out its students.

"We do consider it to be a very active flu season here at UCA,” Christina Munoz Madsen said.

College students are especially prone to the virus as they are more likely to hang out in big groups, according to Robert Hopkins with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

“We’re asking people to not go to classes. Communicate via e-mail. Try not to be around friends and to really protect yourself and guard yourself,” Madsen said.

Madsen said the University sent out a memo Wednesday to the entire student body due to more and more people getting sick.

"We so far have had 70 cases since we came back on Jan.2 [with] a total of 78 cases,” Madsen said.

She said it is extremely important for students to take advantage of their student health centers where they can easily test you for the flu.

Hopkins said students should get vaccinated because it can help lessen the symptoms of the flu.

"If they haven't it's not too late,” he said. " The vaccine's not perfect but it's clearly the best pre- prevention."

Madsen said parents should keep in touch with their kids to see how they're feeling.

"Talk to your student about if they are sick to really protect themselves and practice the key prevention methods,” she said.

And prevention is the number one way to keep healthy.

"Wash your hands, can't say that enough,” Hopkins said.

The Guy-Perkins School District said it will take an Alternative Method of Instruction day Friday due to a flu outbreak at the school.

© 2018 KTHV-TV


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