HATTIESBURG, MS. - The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) sent a notice to students last week after a sharp increase in the number of flu cases on campus.
Health care officials at the Hattiesburg campus have treated 88 individuals in the past two weeks.
Schools officials are advising all students, faculty, and staff at both Hattiesburg and Gulf Coast campus to get vaccinated immediately. The school told both campuses, "We have approximately 1,000 doses of the vaccine on hand at this time. Approximately 200 individuals have been vaccinated at the Moffitt Health Center, while many others have been vaccinated at off-campus facilities."
According to USM the Gulf Coast campus has no significant reported cases of the flu, but they are urging the campus to get vaccinated as it can take up to two weeks for the vaccine to be effective.
Vaccinations are available at the Moffitt Health Care Center for $20.
The following email was sent to both campuses:
In the meantime, practice these flu prevention tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
Practice other good health habits. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
More information about flu prevention can be found on the CDC’s website.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call 601.266.5390 or visit the center's website.