Coughing is something that is common on college campuses around this time of year. But instead of saying they have a little cold, when students are asked how they’re doing these days they jokingly react with, “I have swine flu.”Funny to some, but in reality swine flu is infecting more and more people throughout the United States. It has been all over the news and some say people have been overreacting to it, but others say it’s a huge issue that could be deadly.
The whole swine flu pandemonium started about a year ago in Mexico and then spread across the globe.
To date, there have been no known cases of swine flu this school year at Castleton, but freshman Lee Mohr said he got it before stepping foot on this campus.
“I had a regular flu on and off for a month in May till June. It would come about once a week and I didn’t take care of myself. Once I learned I had swine flu I was quarantined in my room for almost two weeks. I could go to the bathroom and occasionally outside, but I was brought food by my dad. I think it’s key when you have the flu to take care of yourself. I didn’t and I got the treacherous swine flu,” said Mohr.
According to an online diagnosis, swine flu symptoms are like the normal flu symptoms. Normally it starts out with the typical fever, sore throat, runny nose, headaches,
and fatigue. The tricky part is that most people with the normal flu have these symptoms too. Only lab tests can tell you if you definitely have swine flu.
Sophomore Maegan Walsh is one student who is nervous about the prospect of catching
“I get sick very easily, last year was awful. I coughed all the time and would often joke about having the swine flu with people. I actually was worried I had it once and looked up the symptoms but I did not actually have it,” said Walsh.
It is common humor in Castleton to say that the reason you missed class was the swine flu, but in other schools it is reality — and not funny to them at all. The University of Washington has reported 2,000 cases of swine flu.
One way to potentially avoid the flu is through vaccination.
“I went and got my shot this week at a walk-in clinic in Rutland. The nurse had said she had seen very few college students who are at the highest risk, she encouraged
me to tell others to get vaccinated,” said junior Murphy Reidl.
The swine flu vaccine will soon be offered on Castleton campus, and an e-mail will be set out with details, according to Katherine Spaulding. But until then, many places in Rutland are offering the vaccine.
“In the situation we are all in at Castleton everyone needs to take care of themselves.
Our age group is the biggest at risk,” said Mohr