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At beer pong games this weekend, H1N1 not invited
Jessica Huebert
Antelope Staff
Photo by Jessica Huebert
Josh Jensen, a senior sports administration major from Blair, and Eric Hinze, a senior agribusiness major from Axell, polish up on their beer pong skills. The two play with cups of water and drink from their own cans instead of sharing cups with everybody at the party.

Dozens of H1N1 outbreaks across the U.S. have been allegedly linked to college drinking games. One popular game in particular, beer pong, has been scrutinized and has even been “banned” by some colleges.                                                                                                                          

For those who aren’t familiar with the game: In beer pong, two teams of two players attempt to toss a ping-pong ball into their opponents’ cups that have beer in them. If the ball goes in one, a player drinks that cup. This normally results in cups, and germs, being shared.

“Yeah I can see how drinking games could spread the flu,” said Jared Muzzey, a senior organizational communication major from Lexington. “The drinking games probably aren’t all to blame though. Sharing your drink with anyone, or even just being so close together in big groups at parties and bars, probably has something to do with H1N1 spreading. It’s the college atmosphere.”                                                                                                                                    

According to CNN, H1N1 is now the world’s most dominant flu virus.    

Nearly 8,900 new cases of flu-like illness were reported at 270 U.S. colleges and universities for the week of Oct. 17 through Oct. 23, according to the American College Health Association.                                                                                                                                    

With the increased warnings of H1N1, some students are taking notice.

“I definitely feel like I’ve been paying more attention to my health this year due to all of the H1N1 news.” Muzzey said. “For one thing, when I’m out at the bars I’ll use more hand sanitizer. It’s not a tough change to make since the dispensers are everywhere now.”

Despite the possibility of spreading sicknesses through drinking games, beer pong fans won’t let that stop them from getting their pong on.                                                                                                          

“There are some things you can do to make the games a little bit safer and more sanitary,” said Eric Hinze, a senior agribusiness major from Axtell. “For example, we don’t put the beer in the cups themselves, we fill the cups with water. Then when the other players score, we just drink out of our own cans. Aside from that, just don’t reuse and share cups, that sort of thing.”

The myth that alcoholic drinks can kill germs doesn’t do college students any good either. A typical beer is only about four to five percent alcohol and does not kill germs.

Health experts continue to warn students about being cautious at public gatherings. If you’re feeling sick, stay home. If you’re at a party, try to stay out of large, packed groups. And above all else, keep your cup to yourself.

Video by Sam Spiehs

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