Flu, cold-like virus cases expected to rise in next week

Masks might be gone, but there is still the risk of catching the flu. Photo courtesy of Baylor Photography

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

After a big surge of influenza cases was registered before spring break, there are six cases of the flu confirmed this week at Baylor.

Medical director Dr. Sharon Stern said it is typical to see a surge in flu cases on the second week back after people have traveled. This is because a lot of people are coming back from different places and may be carrying viruses with them.

According to Stern, by the end of the week of Dec. 11, 2021, her team registered a total of 59 influenza-like cases, and the week before spring break, it registered 47 cases. This week, there have been six cases; however, Stern said she expects cases to rise the second week after coming back from spring break.

“Influenza activity is increasing in most of the country,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s weekly U.S. influenza surveillance report website reads.

Stern said some of the symptoms people with influenza may experience are body aches, fever, congestion, cough and sore throat.

Mazatlan, Mexico, freshman Patricio Perusquia said via email that over spring break, he got a cold due to the location of where he traveled in the past week.

Perusquia left Waco to go skiing for the break, and he said he usually gets a common cold when exposed to cold weather.

“I’ve had two colds at Baylor, for which I went to the Baylor Health Center to get medicine,” Perusquia said.

Additionally, Perusquia said he did not miss any of his classes this week because by the time he got back to campus, he felt well enough to attend.

Stern said if students are experiencing symptoms, they should continue to wear a mask when around other people in case of it possibly being COVID-19 or the flu.

“You want to drink a lot of liquids and try to get some rest,” Stern said. “You can take over-the-counter stuff for symptoms.”

The number of flu cases is expected to rise in the next week, according to Stern, because it will be the second week after coming back from spring break, which is typically when cases rise. Additionally, she said they have been seeing a lot of cold-like viruses going around campus.