Most pople at WCU have experienced the “Cullowhee Crud,” thought to be an illness spread from all the students who are sick when they return to campus. Because everyone is in such close proximity on a college campus, it’s doesn’t take long for one sick person to turn into 300. Normally, the “Crud” has started to recede by now, but this semester seems to be worse than usual. The typical flu season in Cullowhee runs until early March, so the chances of catching it are still high. Fortunately, the University Health Center still has plenty of flu shots on reserve. It is not too late to get a flu shot, but students are urged by the University Health Center to come in as soon as possible if they plan on receiving one. It is expected that by mid-February, the shots will have lost some of their potency and will not be quite as effective. Another illness common on campus is mononucleosis, refereed to by most as mono. Mono is a big problem lately, with more cases this semester than usual in past spring semesters. There is no vaccination for mono, so it is treated symptomatically. The University Health Center can perform a test to see if mononucleosis is present and give students tips for a faster recovery. The symptoms of mono and influenza are fairly similar, making it difficult to distinguish between the two without a doctor’s opinion or a test. However, there are a few differences that could help identify what the illness is. The symptoms for mono tend to be more centered around the glands, including a sore throat, neck and abdominal pain, and swollen glands Flu symptoms resemble those attributed to a head-cold and the congestion tends to be worse than what is experienced during mono. There has also been a problem with strep on campus this semester, but no more than usual. While the rate of strep remains average, it is still crucial that all students who think they may have contracted it come to the Health Center for treatment. Some people may be wondering why the rate of illness is so high lately. One of the major factors is the sporatic weather changes Cullowhee has experienced lately. The rapid changes in temperature and humidity can have a drastic impact on the well-being of the campus community.The cost of a flu shot is $7.00, but the Health Center also offers a flu test, a mono test, and a strep test free of charge to all students.