A Ghastly Disease
By Jocelyn Jones
Well it's that time of year again when it comes to colds and weather changes. People are getting sick left and right not knowing what is going on with them. For those of you who don't know, H1N1 (swine flu) is a virus that is usually found in pigs. This virus begins to mutate and becomes infectious in humans. Humans have little or no immunity against it because the mutation is already in effect. This means that the virus can spread quickly, whether it is an item or just by physical contact. The H1N1 virus is more difficult to treat than the normal seasonal flu (human viruses).
Did you know H1N1 has sprung up at the University of Maryland College Park? The H1N1 virus was suspected to have infected 256 students at Maryland and the university has 37,000 students. At Salisbury University which has 8,100 students, four of them are suspected of having swine flu. At Towson University which has an enrollment of 21,000 students this year, eight students were suspected to have the swine flu, and of those eight, two were confirmed. Schools that have either suspected or confirmed case of swine flue include, Towson University, University of Maryland College Park, Bowie State University, Salisbury University and Baltimore County.
A couple of students here at Bowie State University went to a party in College Park and got sick. Although they remain unidentified, three have confirmed cases of Type A-swine flu and they are in constant care. A lot of universities as well as Bowie State are testing students for Type A-swine flu and Type B-seasonal flu. H1N1 symptoms include unusual tiredness, funny nose, aching muscles, loss of appetite, headache, chills, diarrhea, vomiting, shortness of breath or cough, a sore throat and a high temperature (over 100 degrees).
Students should take precautions to prevent contracting and spreading swine flu and seasonal flu: 1. Get vaccinated. 2. Always wash you hands after using a restroom. 3. Use paper towels to open doors while leaving restroom. 4. After touching a desk, door, people hands etc, do not under any circumstances touch your face. 5. Cover your coughs (common curiosity). 6. Avoid contact with sick people.
Now I am not saying be afraid of germs and become a complete "germ-a-phobe." All I am saying is take a few precautions in your daily activities in order to stay healthy and not get sick. It would help if you get vaccinated at least because it lowers your chances of getting sick. Remember to be safe because it is flu season and the weather is changing.