Since the end of the Spring 2009 semester, many campus students have been growing increasingly concerned about contracting the H1N1 virus.
A lot of the students were hoping that the virus would subside over the summer, but unfortunately, the virus remains as strong as ever heading into the winter months, and the traditional flu season.
In addition to the normal worries that a college student has, such as the tests, projects, and meetings that five or six classes require, students must worry about catching either of the Influenza A strains.
“It’s definitely on my mind because we live here,” freshman Shawn Case said, “It’s something we have to pay attention to because of the close living arrangements.”
On the other hand, freshman Robert Wromack says that it is too early to get excited about it.
“I’m not worried about it yet because I haven’t seen it hit the campus,” he said.
Despite the slight difference in opinions, both students reiterated the importance of personal hygiene, especially during the flu season.
When residents checked in to their rooms this fall, they found signs taped to their doors warning them of flu-like symptoms and how to prevent themselves from getting it. Stick-on signs have also appeared in bathrooms and on doors around the buildings.
Other public notices have been posted around the academic buildings, and numberous hand-sanitizing dispensers have been installed along various locations within the buildings.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put together an action plan for everyone to implement so they do not get the flu. The plan, called “Take 3,” advises everybody to do the following:
Get the flu vaccine. Everyone should have the seasonal flu shot each year, but a specific H1N1 vaccine is in its final stages of preparation.
Take everyday preventative actions, such as washing your hands several times a day and using a tissue to cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
Take flu antiviral drugs if your family doctor recommends them. Anti-viral drugs can make the flu milder and shorten its duration in your body, should you get infected.
Millersville University’s Health Services held a six-hour flu shot clinic October 7, so that students had an easy way to get the vaccination, however, students can simply call Health Services during normal business hours to schedule a flu shot on their own.
Despite all of the methods to prevent sickness, students will continue to worry about catching the flu while they work on their class assignments and move through the fall semester.