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Get me a mask!: H1N1 hits campus hard, but vaccine available now
Nathan Blaha
Antelope Staff
Photo by Nathan Blaha
Sophomore Matt Plugge from Norfolk demonstrates how to avoid H1N1 by wearing a mask. and washing his hands frequently. Plugge plans on getting his vaccine as soon as he can find time sand washing his hands frequently.

Are you between the ages of five and 24? Did you know that 73 percent of people infected with H1N1 worldwide are in that age group?

Cindy Shultz, the associate director of health care on campus, said students should not be scared but concerned about H1N1. “It is important for students to understand that they need to get vaccinated in order to prevent the virus since they are at the highest risk of being infected,” Shultz said.

“People who have H1N1 become contagious before symptoms arise, so it is very important to get vaccinated and use proper cough and sneeze etiquette and to wash your hands,” Shultz said.

On Friday, student health received the FluMist vaccine for H1N1, and it is available free to UNK students age 17 to 24 who are in good health.

Shultz said the difference between the seasonal flu that occurs every year and H1N1 is that H1N1 is a new virus meaning for which young college students have not developed any natural immunity. So when the virus hits, it hits hard. Some students on campus do know how hard H1N1 can hit once they get it and have been quarantined.  

“UNK is doing as much as possible to help students who have the swine flu and to help prevent it,” Shultz said.

The resident advisors and hall directors are all prepared with flu kits, and Chartwells is delivering trays to students who are sick on campus.

Shultz said, “It is important that students who are feeling sick to contact student health or their RAs, so they can help.”

Shultz said there are some students who went off campus for testing, and the university is prepared to help with all sick students, but the RAs or student health need to know who needs assistance.

The UNK Web site has a direct link for more information on H1N1 on the home page, and Shultz blogs about new information about the virus on campus. Check it out at http://www.unk.edu/offices/health.aspx?id=47647.

Comments

Posted by: blazeknc
Oct 14, 2009
Also, one thing I read up on is this: If you are pregnant (or think you may be), the mist sray mentioned cannot be used because it actually carries a live strain of the H1N1. The injection shot will be out soon and will contain the dead strain... Doctors will tell you this, but if the doctor doesn't know you're pregnant, then it could be very harmful.

___________________________________________

Nathan Blazek
blazeknc@unk.edu

 
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