Monday, September 21, 2009
H1N1 Outbreaks Across College Campuses
In my entire schooling career, I don't think I've ever heard a professor tell me to stay home on the days when I had a sore throat or a cough, until this year that is. College campuses are getting hit harder than ever with flu epidemics this fall, more specifically with cases of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu. With college students sharing everything from dorm rooms, dining commons, and community bathrooms, it is no wonder germs and sicknesses are spreading faster than ever.
According to WebMD, it is advised that students, as well as the faculty, should wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, avoid contact with other people, and clean community surfaces as much as possible. It is definitely something that is being taken very seriously amongst college athletics, as well. In fact, at my field hockey game the other night, we weren't allowed to shake hands with the other captains during the pregame meeting because it might spread germs. Athletes are especially vulnerable because they share little things like water bottles and towels with their teammates without even knowing if they are sick.
I came across an interesting article from USNews when I was looking up ways to track swine flu online and found out there is actually a free iPhone application called "Outbreaks Near Me" that actually tracks the H1N1 outbreaks across communities and college campuses! Of course, I downloaded it for fun and discovered that as of September 18th, Wellesley College, MIT, Boston University, Boston College, Brandeis University, and Northeastern University had the highest reported cases of H1N1 outbreaks so far. I guess there really is an iPhone application for everything these days!
Until next time, wash your hands and cover your coughs!