Colleges keeping close watch on flu outbreak

Purdue students returning from winter break are guarding against the flu.

Coughs are the sound of the flu season. Fifteen people have died in Indiana, from what the state calls a "moderate flu outbreak."

"I have had the flu," said a student at Purdue outside the Student Health Center.

Campuses Eyewitness News talked with say they're seeing a normal flu season so far.

"For the last five weeks, nothing more than three percent of the population with flu," said Dr. Sarah Sayger, Director of the Purdue Student Health Center.

So far, so good this first full week back from winter break. But did students bring flu back to campus with them? We will soon know.

"Within 7-14 days, we can expect to see respiratory infection, gastrointestinal distress and some of that will be influenza," Sayger said.

"It was a fever, I had cough and cold," one student said Friday.

She did not get the flu shot last fall when Purdue was pushing free flu vaccines and now this week, student Brynna Allard told us her "mom was freaking out about it, so I came to get it."

But students who came to the health center Friday for those shots found they had just run out of their supply.

"It is kind of alarming - the videos - frightening," said student Aishwarya Ajay. "That's why we were here to get them."

The university is directing students to drug stores instead, which they say have the vaccine in stock.

"We're going to do that tomorrow," a group of students said.

Purdue, IU and Ball State, with low numbers of flu cases so far, say it's the same picture cross the Big Ten.

"Steady activity," said Dr. Sayger. "It's not painful yet."

With hand sanitizer stands, campuses are spreading the word not to spread germs. "Cover Your Cough" signs are posted around campus and in several languages.