Southern Miss experiencing flu outbreak

Southern Miss experiencing flu outbreak

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The University of Southern Mississippi is experiencing a flu outbreak, according to the Director of the Moffitt Health Center.

Dr. Melissa Roberts said positive flu cases began appearing at the center on August 21.

"We sent a viral culture to the Mississippi Department of Health and the CDC and the results came back as a common flu strain," Roberts said.

According to Roberts, as of Thursday the center has treated 88 individuals who tested positive for flu.

"We have approximately 1,000 doses of the vaccine on hand at this time," Roberts said. "Approximately 200 individuals have been vaccinated at the Moffitt Health Center, while many others have been vaccinated at off-campus facilities."

Roberts said the university is encouraging individuals to follow CDC guidelines for fighting the flu.

Those guidelines are:

  • Take time to get a flu vaccine
  • Take preventative actions to stop the spreading of germs
  • Take flu antiviral drugs if a doctor prescribes them

According to Roberts, the standard cost for a flu shot is $20 and can be billed to insurance.

Roberts said the flu is spread by respiratory droplets, and environments like social gatherings, close living quarters, and group situations increase the likelihood of contracting the flu.

By getting the flu vaccine, Roberts said an individual can protect themselves from contracting the illness during the 2017-18 flu season.

For more information on the flu, click here.