H1N1 Fears Averted at Towson University

H1N1 Fears Averted at Towson University

By Omari Richards

TU Journalism | Oct. 15, 2009

Despite the large amount of media and political attention surrounding the H1N1 virus, students at Towson University remain comfortable and at ease.

Between several precautions the university has made, everyday hygiene, and general awareness, students feel that there’s nothing fear  from the hyped up virus.

“I don’t really think it’s that big of a deal,” said sophomore Emilia Horn. “It’s just a regular flu, people just aren’t taking care of themselves as well as they should.”

Towson University however has still taken several precautions against the virus, including a large amounts of hand sanitizers in high traffic areas such as the dinning halls and the gymnasium.

“I think the university is doing good job of keeping people aware,” said student Allison Brown. “Placing hand sanitizers everywhere is a good idea because it’s good reminder to be more conscious of your interactions.”

Towson University also sent out a campus wide e-mail at the beginning of the semester giving students general information about the H1N1 virus, and a warning not to attend class should they come down with any flu-like symptoms. The e-mail was reinforced with a handout every professor gave to their students at the beginning of each class.

“It’s our goal to keep everyone informed about the virus,” said Trudy Woods of the Towson Health Center. “But at the same time we don’t want to cause a panic or be too intrusive. The e-mail was sent near the end of the summer as an initial warning. Then the handout was just to make sure the students and professors got the message. And so far it seems that they have.”

The H1N1 was first detected in the United States in April 2009. Ever since it has been the subject of many speeches, panel discussions, debate, and hype by the news media and government. As such many myths and misconceptions exist about the virus, causing unnecessary panic and fear.

“You can’t get Swine Flu from eating pork,” Woods said. “That’s a question I get all the time. We’ve taken great steps to make sure that students and professors have the very least, a general knowledge about the virus. And hopefully with that knowledge they will be able to calm their more panicked peers.”

The name Swine Flu comes from laboratory testing that showed the genes in the virus similar to flu that normally occurs in pigs (swine). But studies has shown that the H1N1 is different from flu that occurs in pigs.

“Believe it or not, normal flu is still deadlier and more widespread than H1N1,” Wood said. “So when watching out for H1N1, just remember to keep an eye out for the one we’re all familiar with.”

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Responses

  1. […] H1N1 Fears Averted at Towson University […]

  2. I actually did a similar story about the H1N1 virus last semester. This form of the flu virus really scared alot of people. The Swine Flu sent alot of students home. I even fell victim to this type of flu. Some students really took advantage of this sickness to take off from class and stay in bad. This type of flu was really blwn out of proportion if you ask me.

  3. Personally, I do not think that the H1N1 virus has been mentioned since it became a nation-wide Pandemic. When the virus began to be controlled and less people were affected by it, the fears and the awareness has greatly died down. I haven’t even thought about it since it was broadcasted all over the news when it first became a problem.
    I think that universities and schools should still educate students on how to be clean and keep themselves healthy. Schools are where many people are affected with viruses, flus, colds, bacteria, etc. so they should keep up with the up-keep.
    -Shey


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