Staying Healthy on Spring Break

Eric Bourse

Many students across campus are already planning out their spring break, but few may actually be preparing themselves to stay healthy.

Although cases of swine flu have been decreasing, “the majority of the influenza viruses identified so far continue to be 2009 H1N1 influenza, ” according to the Feb. 26 weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control.

College students are considered to be a high risk group for swine flu because many have not had the H1N1 vaccine.

“I’m not concerned about getting H1N1,” said Trevor Martin, 23, film major. “I haven’t felt the need for a vaccine. I just drink orange juice every morning.”

Despite the dangers of H1N1 not being a concern for many college students, swine flu has killed 10,837 of those infected in the United States according to

Many college students have not been vaccinated due to concerns about the vaccine itself. Popular talk show hosts such as Glenn Beck and Bill Maher have repeatedly stated on their programs that people shouldn’t take the vaccine because it isn’t safe. 62 percent of Americans told an NBC/Washington Post poll that they would not take the vaccine at all.

“This flu vaccine is made as flu vaccine is made each year, by the same companies, in the same production facilities with the same procedures, with the same safety safeguards,” said CDC director, Dr. Thomas R. Friedman.

Universities such as Cornell and Washington State had some of the biggest swine flu outbreaks in the country last year. About 700 students at Cornell became infected with the virus and one student died.

Washington State University reported that more than 2600 students became infected with swine flu and a few cases of seasonal flu. Hundreds of schools across the country closed for weeks to help slow down the spread of the virus.

Students that feel sick after returning from spring break should not come back to school. Testing for swine flu is not done on campus.
“It’s important that you stay home and call your doctor if you have flu-like symptoms,” said Jessica LoGuercio, administrative assistant at the health center on campus. “If you have H1N1 flu, you can risk spreading it.”

Students can lower the risk of getting sick and stay safe this spring break by following these tips from the CDPH:

1. Receive the H1N1 flu shot. Vaccines are widely available and are free. However, it takes about 10 days for the vaccine to become effective.
2. Wash hands often with soap and water. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if soap and water isn’t available. The mouth should always be covered when a sneeze occurs.
3. Students should stay home for 24 hours after the fever is gone to avoid spreading germs.
4. Fruits and vegetables in a diet can help the immune system.
5. Continue to stay active during spring break.
6. Getting plenty of sleep helps the immune system and keeps the mind focused.

Students with questions can call the CDPH H1N1 flu hotline at 888-865-0564. Visit for more information on where to receive H1N1 vaccinations.