A major thought on everyone’s mind these days is the swine flu. H1N1 is a virus that is quickly spreading. On Sept. 29, the brothers of Alpha Phi Omega held a seminar on the H1N1 virus in the Favrot Student Union. The seminar covered the origin, symptoms and statistics of the virus.School of Nursing assistant professor Elma Brook was the guest speaker for the seminar. She thoroughly covered prevention methods and symptoms of the H1N1 virus.
Symptoms are the same as a cold and flu including fatigue, muscle and body ache, extreme exhaustion and chills. Keeping hand sanitizer on you is always a good thing since germs tend to linger behind. Sneezing, coughing, touching infected objects, or any other way that a germ can be transferred from one person to another is ways that the virus can be spread.
While the virus spreads quickly, it can be prevented. Get a yearly flu vaccine, wash hands often, keep in good health and do not smoke! Smoking makes the respiratory tract more prone to infections.
If you come into contact with an infected person or may think that someone is infected, stay away. An infected person is contagious a day before they have the symptoms up to six days after getting the virus. After getting the shot for the virus, the person may not be contagious but you should still take the necessary precautions to keep yourself healthy. It is better to get your flu shot in the fall so you will be immune by flu season in the winter.
While the flu shot has few side effects, you should always talk to your health care provider if you have allergies, health problems, planning a pregnancy or if you are currently pregnant. Pregnant women, children under 5, those with a chronic illness, and those over 65 usually have to be hospitalized if infected.
There have been multiple deaths in the U.S. due to the H1N1 virus. While the illness affects the body, having other health problems will put you at a higher risk for death. If you have the symptoms of the H1N1 virus, go to the doctor immediately so that you can be properly treated. There have been deaths all over the country, even on this campus. The best thing to do is get vaccinated and stay sanitized.
As Brook said, “Don’t take chances, get the protection you need.