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Student Health Services provides health help throughout the year

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By Chelsea Reese

chelseareese@rocketmail.com

With the summer season in people’s rear view mirrors and the winter season still looming over Colorado, the Student Health Services clinic is prepared to treat an array of illnesses.

Carlotta Fendrich, a nurse practitioner and director of SHS, said the most common cases they see are influenza-like illnesses such as, the flu, bronchitis and the common cold.  Some of these illnesses, she said, are incurable but SHS can prescribe medicine to help with symptom control.  The second most common cases are reproductive, followed by mental health.

Photo courtesy of fluvaccine.org

“There is a misconception that we are just a ‘shot clinic,’ which used to be true, but we’ve grown into a fully functional medical clinic,” Fendrich said.

This year, SHS had 121 students visit the clinic for influenza-like illnesses, such as the flu.

“We’ve had a late start of flu-like symptoms but it’s starting to hit the campus, primarily in student housing,” Fendrich said.

Common symptoms of the flu are fever, sore throat, coughing, a runny or stuffy nose, head and body aches and fatigue, according to a flyer given to students who visit SHS.  The typical flu lasts seven to 12 days, Fendrich said, but it always depends on the person.

The easiest way people can prevent catching and spreading the flu, she said, is to stay home when they are sick, especially if it is serious.  Also, avoid close contact with people, wash hands with soap and water and cover coughs and sneezes with the elbow, not a hand, Fendrich said.

If a student does have to miss school, she said SHS will write them a note to be excused from class.

The SHS also offers unlimited visits for students to see a doctor, as it is paid for with their student fees, however, students may have to pay for certain labs and medication, Fendrich said. Flu shots are also available for $15, no appointment necessary.

SHS can also make house calls to the dorms if a student’s symptoms worsen, she said, but if SHS is closed, go to nearest emergency facility or call 911.

SHS is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday. They are closed on weekends.  The clinic is located on the north side of the Occhiato University Center, in suite 112. For more information, contact SHS at 719-549-2830 or go to shs@colostate-pueblo.edu.