Sorry for the doom and gloom Monday report. I was shocked to read about the deadly force of the swine flu. Although school has just started, the swine flu has infected hundreds of students in at least 17 colleges in the first weeks of school, the virus has resurfaced and hitting every sorority event and football practice across the county.
“You can envision 200 young people being stuffed into the basement of a smoky fraternity — what a perfect breeding ground for disease,” said Jim Turner, director of the Department of Student Health at the University of Virginia and president of the American College Health Association. He has been tracking outbreaks at U.S. colleges.
Mississippi State University, located in Starkville, has had more than 250 people with flu-like symptoms since July 15, said Robert Cadenhead, administrator of the student health center, in a telephone interview. The University of Kansas in Lawrence counted more than 100 sick, according to Todd Cohen, a spokesman for the school. The University of Tennessee in Knoxville estimates at least 100 students showed flu symptoms since classes started Aug. 19, said Amy Blakely, a spokeswoman.
“This is the type of flu activity that we’ve been preparing for,” the CDC’s Quimby said in a telephone interview from the agency’s Atlanta headquarters. “The H1N1 flu never went away this summer.”
The scary part is that students don’t take the disease seriously. The unfortunate part, the flu season vaccine won’t be ready until October. For now, schools are transporting students in “sick buses” from dorm halls to health services. School administrators are doing their best to contain the disease and encourage parents to talk with their kids. Translation, get the vaccine and take care of your health.
For more information, please check with your local family doctor for advice. Stay healthy!