Dr.  Sharon Morrison, an associate professor of public health education in UNCG’s School of Health and Human Sciences, is available to discuss the recent outbreak of flu cases and ways people can help protect themselves against the virus.

“All reports show that this is a particularly active flu season. States such as Massachusetts and New Mexico are being hit hard with a higher number of hospitalizations,” Morrison said. “In fact, public health and clinical care professionals are dealing with at least one virulent strain that is requiring more hospitalizations than usual and may be implicated in deaths from complications.

“Without public health interventions (vaccination, hand washing, etc), this tide will swell,” Morrison added. “Those at risk are strongly being urged to get this year’s vaccine, particularly because it may provide protection against the H3N2 virus, which is one the more potent strains.”

The flu vaccine is available at Student Health Services for UNCG students at a cost of $13.71 and for faculty and staff for $20. The vaccine offers protection strains A(H1N1), A (H3N2) and B, said Morrison, who is also serves as a member of the university’s Communicable Disease Advisory Committee.

There are several useful online sites that can provide information about the flu and outbreaks in your local area, said Bill Evans, an assistant professor in UNCG’s Department of Public Health. “This flu season is turning out to be moderate to severe,” he said. “To track the flu in your area visit the tracker function found at flufacts.com and for general information visit flu.gov.” Additional information can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site.

Morrison can best be reached by email at sdmorri2@uncg.edu or by phone at (336) 334-3243.