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Click to keep flu at bay

MUSC students with flu-like illnesses can now assess their symptoms without leaving home. Students can self evaluate their symptoms by answering several questions online and receive customized diagnostic and therapeutic advice at
With busy schedules, students often ignore their own illness. In an academic medical setting, this can lead to spreading infection to colleagues and patients. The flu symptom evaluator will help individuals recognize when they may have the flu and when to seek medical attention.
“Drawing from an inventory of known features of the flu, the evaluation tool assesses the users’ symptoms and follows the logic clinicians use to determine the likelihood of influenza,” said Larry Blumenthal, M.D., director of MUSC Student Health Services and evaluator tool creator. “This tool is not a substitute for a medical evaluation and individuals who are experiencing unusually severe or prolonged illnesses are encouraged to seek medical attention. This is especially true in populations who do not always have classic symptoms of the flu and are at higher risk for complicated illnesses.”
The evaluation instrument was tested and peer evaluated for accuracy and reliability. It will continue to evolve as  knowledge of influenza increases. MUSC is sharing its knowledge and technology with other interested institutions to protect the health of their student population.

Friday, Oct. 9, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.