Written by Mattie Powers // Graphic by Cooper Turman
Strep throat diagnoses have been on the rise at Harding University as spring weather conditions have been approaching. On Monday, April 3, director of Student Health Services (SHS) Mary Darden sent out an email warning students about the sudden high rates of strep throat cases on campus. The email included symptoms that come with strep and how to avoid catching it.
This was especially emphasized as Spring Sing weekend occurred at Harding and more people came to visit campus. Darden said strep is affecting more than the Harding community.
“Well, I mean there are natural rises where strep kind of increases and decreases, but it’s in the whole community, like all of Searcy,” Darden said. “A lot of local urgent cares are seeing rises as well. So I think it’s just that time of year and then of course Spring Sing does not help because you have all the groups together and sharing drinks and whatever else, so I think that’s probably a part of it, too.”
In the email, Darden defined strep throat as an infection that typically occurs in the tonsils from a bacteria called Streptococcus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described on their website how strep throat symptoms vary for everyone.
“Some infected people do not have symptoms or seem sick,” the CDC said on its website. “Infected people who are sick with strep throat are more contagious than those who do not have symptoms.”
Senior Claire Drewry had a case of strep throat about a month ago and at the same time had COVID-19 and a sinus infection. Drewry described many ways to keep oneself healthy during this time of the year.
“Just get enough sleep,” Drewry said. “Sleep is so important for your body to fight off stuff. If you know somebody who is not feeling well and you have to be around them, wear a mask or avoid being around them.”
The email sent to students also included that if a student thinks they might have strep throat, they should go to SHS on campus or a local medical office in town.