Students should heed the warnings for the H1N1 virus

Photo illustration/ Logan Green
Photo illustration/ Logan Green

Every year the standard, common flu kills more than 35,000 people on average. This year a new influenza virus is attacking the human population worldwide. The H1N1 flu virus is a new strand of the former “swine” flu. Unlike the standard flu that affects mostly younger children and the elderly, this flu hits the middle-of-the-road age groups and can affect anyone seriously. The Crusader staff would like our student body to know that the average age of infected H1N1 patients is 17-years-old. Although most Seward County Community College/ Area Technical School students are older, 17 is an average and places college students in the mean of infected cases. To prepare for the flu and protect yourself, take certain precautions. Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Use tissue to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder. Then wash your hands as soon as possible. Stay home if you start to feel flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, muscle aches, nausea or vomiting. Get vaccinated. Seward County has already had reports of the H1N1 virus in the area. It is hard to tell if these cases will spread quickly or not. Dorm students need to take extra precautions. In a recent bulletin at the dorms, it says that if you have flu like symptoms to tell an RA or housing staff member, do not go to classes, notify your instructors, call your parents, if you live close to home you are encouraged to go home and stay 24 hours after breaking your fever, and if you cannot go home you will be asked to stay in your room for 24 hours. The Crusader staff encourages all students to take special care of themselves during this time. The best way to avoid spreading the flu is to stay clear of anyone who may have become infected and to constantly wash your hands.

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