Health Services Shares Steps for Protecting Against Pneumonia
When most of us think about pneumonia, we don’t think of it as being contagious; however, there is a strain of the infection — better known as “walking pneumonia” — that can wreak havoc on a college campus if the right precautions aren’t taken.
“We’ve seen about 60 cases since this semester started,” said Gregory Moore, senior director of Stamps Health Services. “While this infection can be treated with antibiotics, prevention is always best.”
Typical symptoms of the pneumonia, which is caused by a mycoplasma infection, include fever, cough, bronchitis, sore throat, headache and fatigue. For most, symptoms begin two to three weeks after exposure and may persist for a few days to more than a month.
“Students are the most likely group on campus to become infected with this type of pneumonia due to their age and the fact that they live in close quarters with one another,” Moore said. “Although this tends to be a young adult disease, that doesn’t mean that students are the only members of the campus community at risk.”
Faculty and staff members should familiarize themselves with the symptoms of the infection and practice the following precautionary measures:
- Eat well and get enough sleep.
- Don't smoke.
- Sneeze and cough into the crook of your elbow.
- Wash your hands frequently or use sanitizer.
- Dispose of used tissues properly.
- Stay home and seek medical care if you become sick.
“Taking these measures is a great way to safeguard yourself and others against this disease,” Moore said. “But remember, if you develop a cough and fever that just won’t go away, please seek medical care and don’t come to work until the infection is under control.”
For more information about walking pneumonia, click here.