Starting Monday, Nov. 9, students seeking medical treatment for flu-like symptoms at West Virginia University Student Health Service will be sent down the hall to a new walk-in flu clinic.

The clinic will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in the John E. Jones Conference Center, which is located on the ground floor of the Health Sciences Center. Only students will be treated at the clinic. It is not for WVU faculty or staff.

Jan Palmer, M.D., director of Student Health, said the purpose of the clinic is to segregate those with flu symptoms from patients who seek treatment at Student Health for other injuries or illnesses.

Students without underlying health conditions are urged to isolate themselves if they have flu symptoms. “This clinic is only meant for people who feel the need to go to the doctor despite Centers for Disease Control recommendations to stay home,” Dr. Palmer said.

Most flu patients—except those with other medical conditions or severe symptoms—can recover without a trip to the doctor. Palmer says the clinic should be used only if students require treatment, not just for a diagnosis.

Students should see a doctor or go to the emergency room if these conditions exist:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Dizziness or confusion
  • Severe vomiting
  • Inability to tolerate fluids
  • Sudden return of symptoms, which could indicate pneumonia

Students will go through the same check-in process at the walk-in clinic as they do at Student Health. A Mountaineer Student ID card, patient ID card (once assigned) and $10 copayment are required at the time of check-in. The copayment can be charged to a student account or credit or debit card.

The clinic will be equipped with 30 waiting room chairs and four exam rooms. Patients will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis. Those who call Student Health seeking an appointment for the treatment of flu-like symptoms will be directed to the walk-in clinic.

Palmer said that 949 WVU students have had flu-like illness since counting began. Of those, 457 have sought treatment at Student Health, with the remainder reporting symptoms on the WELL WVU website (http://well.wvu.edu).

The CDC recommends the following:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick, stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.

For up-to-date information on H1N1 and seasonal influenza, see the WELL WVU website or the WVU Healthcare Health Alert web page, http://health.wvu.edu/health-alert.

-WVU-

asj/11/06/09
For More Information:
Angela Jones, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087
jonesan@wvuh.com