Seasonal illness is taking over IWU and deserves your attention

By Farah Bassyouni Sep18,2023

“It’s just a cold, I took some medicine”. 

 I have heard this sentence too many times during the past first week of school. Welcome back to school; it’s the start to seasonal flu and cold season. Added to this wave of illness is COVID-19, with recent outbreaks on campus and in the community – so make sure you’re getting those vaccines and taking the right precautions. Illinois Wesleyan’s policy for COVID-19 is “students who test positive for COVID-19 must report the illness to Arnold Health Services and isolate for the CDC-required 5 days and then mask for 5 days.” 

For the flu or common cold, while there are no IWU published policies about this, most professors will accept a doctor’s note to excuse sick students.The recommended precautions to take when sick is avoiding social events, wearing a mask and covering your mouth when coughing. Unfortunately, many people do not follow these guidelines and will dismiss illnesses.  The dangerous thing about dismissing symptoms is that these viruses are highly contagious and easily transmitted to others. While yes, a cold is just a common virus, it is still highly contagious and easily transmitted to others.

It’s important to take illnesses seriously from the beginning, as they may develop into more serious problems. In the fall of my sophomore year, I caught bacterial bronchitis. At first, I just thought I had the common cold, then it got worse and  thought maybe it was COVID-19 and after about two weeks, I finally went to Arnold Health Services. It turned out I had bacterial bronchitis, I took antibiotics, and my symptoms were gone in about a week and a half. I implore my fellow students to not be ignorant like me and to not be inconsiderate to others on campus. Go see a healthcare professional if you are ill, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and do not expose others to your infectious illness, if possible. By taking steps such as these, we can all, as a campus community, prevent major outbreaks of COVID-19, the flu, and cold at Illinois Wesleyan.

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