Top nine ways to get Swine Flu on campus

By Elyse Horowitz

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9. Don’t clean your apartment for weeks – even after you have friends over.

Studies show that a lack of cleanliness of surfaces in the home, such as doorknobs, tabletops, counters, etc. can lead to a greater susceptibility to contracting swine flu. With dirt and germs sitting around like that, it’s no wonder. A quick fix? Stock up on some cleaning wipes from your neighborhood convenience store or look for antibacterial sprays that you can use with a paper towel.


8. Don’t throw away the tissues you’ve used to cough or sneeze into.

If you have the decency to use a tissue, instead of your sleeves in the first place, finish the job by disposing of it properly. While it is important to use tissues when you cough, sneeze or blow your nose, leaving those used tissues lying around, even in your own home, can go against your other efforts to prevent swine flu. Using tissues is only half the battle.


7. Stay up during the night writing a paper or watching the game, then get up for your 8 a.m. class – three nights in a row.

Remember when your mom told you there’s a reason for your bedtime? It’s still true! Getting an appropriate amount of sleep is vital, especially when attempting to ward of the H1N1 virus. The hours you spend sleeping are your body’s way of rebooting, and a few extra hours a night could seriously slice your susceptibility to sickness.


6. Use unwashed utensils when you eat on campus.

While it is difficult to abide by this general rule when dining where so many others have dined before, it is also rather simple to check your eating tools before diving into your scrumptious plate of chow. Also, make sure you wipe down your booth before taking a seat, and never, I mean never, eat something off the tabletop.


5. Spend time with someone who has a fever, cough, sore throat, etc.

While this isn’t a sure-fire way of contracting anything, this general health care warning is one to heed in terms of the swine flu, as it is mostly contagious through airborne exposure. Ignoring the signs of someone else’s illness does not mean that your body will ignore the germs. Those who have H1N1 have been told to quarantine themselves or wear masks when in public, and for good reason.


4. Share cups, chapstick, food or toothbrushes with your friends and neighbors.

While this is a general health no-no, it often falls under the “well, we’re best friends, so it’s O.K.” category. Your best friends may be clear of swine flu to their knowledge; however, with an incubation period of up to eight days, it is still not a wise choice to share anything.


3. Rub your eyes and nose as much as possible.

Another “mother knows best” rule of thumb. Believe it or not, the wet consistencies of your eyes and nasal cavities are more likely to contract germs that you pick up on your hands unknowingly throughout the day. Additionally, because these orifices lead straight into your body, it’s like an infestation of flu germs waiting to happen.


2. Make out with a lot of people you don’t know, and don’t question their health.

With no intention of passing judgment regarding the weekend goings-on of college life, it is definitely a wise choice to shy away from locking lips with someone you’ve just met, if for no other reason than for the fear of coming down with the dreaded swine. The guys may flock to you like flies to honey, but it is definitely a good idea to keep yourself from swapping saliva with someone without making sure they’re not sick. And, of course, that they don’t have any cooties…


1.Never wash your hands.

It’s simple really, and most bathrooms on campus even have highly enjoyable foam soap! Health care providers say that using soap and warm water for approximately 20 seconds as often as possible is one of the best ways to prevent yourself from getting sick, no matter what illness you’re trying to steer clear of. Not a sink in sight? The dining commons now have multiple hand sanitizer dispensers stationed inside their doors, or pick up a small bottle to keep with you when you go out. No matter the cost, or the strength of the smell, it is a much better alternative than spending a week sick on the couch.

Elyse Horowitz can be reached at [email protected].