COVID-19 | February 8th, 2024

Rising Threat: Flu and Covid Resurgence Cases

By: Kesley Knox | Staff Writer
Rising Threat: Flu and Covid Resurgence Cases

The infectious viruses COVID-19 and the Flu are back on the rise, and students should take precautions to avoid it. The rise in illness is due to the presence of unvaccinated individuals, increased holiday gatherings, and a new strand of COVID-19.


Both the Flu and COVID-19 can have asymptomatic to severe symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, vomiting, etc.

COVID-19 is attributed to a coronavirus infection, whereas influenza viruses bring about the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with COVID-19 tend to experience symptoms in “two to five days and up to 14 days after infection”.

Flu symptoms typically persist for one to four days after infection, while COVID-19 has a faster spread and remains contagious for a more extended period compared to the flu.


According to Yen Lam, FAMU Assistant Director of Student Health Services, Florida A&M University students should “get vaccinated and practice good hand hygiene.”

Vaccinations can slow the spread of viruses and reduce the risk of severe illnesses. Frequent handwashing is crucial for students, as germs can be easily gathered in public spaces such as gas pump handles, public bathrooms, grocery cart handles and more.

Lam advises students to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to prevent infection. She encourages students to cover their mouth and nose with their elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Frequently touched surfaces should be disinfected and cleaned regularly.

John Hopkins Medicine suggests people “avoid close contact” with those suspected or have COVID-19 and flu-like symptoms.

With COVID numbers rising, Damara Monroe, a senior political science student, encourages students to stay home or wear masks if they feel sick.

“I think it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure they are taking care of themselves and being cautious of others,” Monroe said.


In the United States, between 2020 and 2023, a total of 231,382 individuals ages 18-29 lost their lives to COVID-19 and influenza.

In January, as per the CDC, 10.8% of individuals exhibited early signs of COVID-19, and 2.1% sought medical attention by visiting the emergency room. Reports show that 26,607 individuals are currently hospitalized due to severe indicators. 3.7% have died due to COVID-19. 

The United States’ recent spread of COVID-19 has been driven by the omicron subvariant JN.1   

Between October 1, 2023, and January 27 of this year, there have been 20-39 million flu cases, and 43,000 people have died. The CDC recommends that “everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine” to prevent deaths from reoccurring.


The CDC reports very high hotspots of Influenza in New Mexico, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Arkansas have high levels of COVID-19 outbreaks.

In January, Florida recorded 14 instances of flu outbreaks. Although Flu outbreaks are moderate, FAMU health officials strongly encourage students to practice safety measures.

Safety Measures

“In light of the ongoing presence of COVID-19 and the rising cases of Influenza, it is crucial for all of us to prioritize the health and well-being of those around us,” Lam said.

FAMU Health Services encourages students to wear masks, wash hands frequently, disinfect surfaces, and stay home if feeling sick.