Swine Flu Shots Available on Campus

December 9, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Nicolette Schleisman

People lined up inside Saint Barnabas Presbyterian Church to receive an H1N1 vaccine Saturday afternoon. They were the last group of high-risk individuals to get the shot from the county.

The first priority group served were children according to Zachary Thompson, the director of the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services. Over 10,000 people attended the second clinic for uninsured citizens in the Dallas area. Dallas County opened up the vaccination to the rest of the public on Sunday.

“We feel like we have basically reached everyone who is in need of the vaccine,” said Thompson. “The key now is to utilize it while the vaccine is here with the interest still high.”

Catherine Richard, a certified nursing assistant, was at the clinic on the Saturday. She waited to get the shot for several reasons.

“I think its good for my body, I’m 57 years old and I take the flu shot every year,” said Richard. “This year I already took the seasonal flu shot, so this is just double protection.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that the number of H1N1 cases from April to October was around 22 million. They also estimate the number of deaths from H1N1 is around 3,900, with the most number of deaths falling between the ages of 18 and 64.

In Texas, there have been over 1,679 hospitalizations and 177 deaths from H1N1 according to the Texas Department of State Health services.

SMU has not escaped the H1N1 flu, Patrick Hite, the Director of SMU Memorial Health Center, reported that the number of cases on campus were in the hundreds. Tuesday was the first day that the H1N1 vaccine was available on campus.

“We just got the vaccinations in last week because we were the least priority group. We received about 700 vaccinations,” Hite said. “There are about 600 left as of now.”

Only 36 students and faculty members had received the vaccination as of 11 a.m. Tuesday. After this week, there will not be any more vaccinations provided until January, according to Hite.

SMU sophomore, Elizabeth Banta, was sick in the beginning of the school year with H1N1.

“I think I missed a whole week of classes,” Barta said. “I could still do the work because I had the syllabus, but it was harder because I wasn’t in class.”

To prevent H1N1, the SMU health center and the CDC recommend that you get the vaccination. They also recommend you frequently wash your hands, do not share food or drink with others and cover your mouth when coughing.

SMU will be offering H1N1 shots Thursday, Dec. 10, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Friday, Dec. 11 from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Campus News Blog: Tips for Combatting H1N1

November 11, 2009 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Katherine Helms

After endless swine flu coverage, have you gotten your H1N1 vaccine? According to federal health officials, approximately 4,000 Americans have died from the swine flu. This number is significantly higher than their previous estimation. Personally, I was shocked by this number and as usual started checking every health website seek out new tips to stay healthy.

With the semester coming to an end and exams in the near future, illness is the last thing any student wants to deal with, especially not H1N1. Most websites gave the same precautionary advice. These tips are most likely well known across the SMU campus due to the numerous school emails providing prevention tips, but it never hurts to hear them again and reconsider if you are taking the proper actions to protect yourself. Wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds), avoid close contact, get extra sleep, avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes, and educate yourself on the symptoms. Although I have known the tips, I started to think of all the germ-infested items I touch throughout the day. I am ashamed to say I do not think twice about touching many of the items, such as the computer keyboards across campus, gym equipment, even and probably most obvious door handles. After contemplation, I am going to stock up on Purell and pray to stay healthy from H1N1. Perhaps you too will take to heart some of these tips and will be equally as successful in combating this virus!

Campus News Blog: Google’s got the Flu!

May 2, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Liz Ford

Freaked out about the Swine Flu? We all are. That’s why the good people at Google made an application to track down the piggie influenza so avid worry-warts can track the sickness 24 hours a day.

Google Flu Trends, an application that was added in November, has now been tailored to track Swine Flu in Mexico as well as the U.S. With this nifty feature you can see charts from previous flu seasons and compare it to the strand of influenza terrifying the globe right now. Unfortunately, you can’t see any other countries, but let’s be honest, that may just worry new moms even more.

Here’s a better idea: why doesn’t Google make an application that tracks pigs? They are clearly the culprits behind this epidemic. They are obviously sneaking across borders, swimming the Atlantic, and making their way into homes at night and sneezing on unsuspecting citizens of the world while they are sleeping. If we could track the pigs we could catch them red-handed.

Or we could just wash our hands.

Global News Blog: Swine Flu Reaches Globally as China Prepares for Worst

April 30, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Medley Buttermore

Talk about global communications. The Swine influenza epidemic has now reached many regions all over the world causing schools all over the country to close their doors and turn thousands of students away from school. This type of global spread is unique because it is the first time we are seeing the global spread of a virus in real time. China, like the rest of the world, is trying to handle this epidemic in the best way possible.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and other state leaders have stepped up prevention and control measures since Tuesday to cope with the current situation. The President has also sent a message to his Mexican counterpart Felipe Calderón to express sympathy for the families of the victims who have already fallen to swine flu according to a China Daily article. This type of global spread is unlike any other and has spread without the help of technology. Usually this world wide spread is due thanks to twitter and other social networking sites spreading information globally.

However, even though this world wide epidemic did not spread with the aid of technology that could just be the saving grace to help control and maintain the illness and the further damage it may cause. With the help of technology and other global communications other parts of the world are better informed about the spread of the virus and this can help contain the situation and end panic all over the globe.

Global News Blog: Guatemala Prepares for Swine Flu

April 30, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Ashley Warmack

In the past few days there have been multiple deaths and illnesses around the world due to the Swine Flu. The world seems to be taking this flu very serious. According to the Guatemala Times, the Government of Guatemala is implementing the W.H.O. (World Health Organization) recommendations. So far no cases have been reported in Guatemala.

According to Reuters, “Nearly a week after the threat first emerged in Mexico, Spain reported the first case in Europe of swine flu in a person who had not been to Mexico, underscoring the threat of person-to-person transmission. With Germany and Austria reporting cases, bringing the number of affected countries to 9, Fukuda said the W.H.O. was moving loser to raising its pandemic alert to phase five, the second highest level possible.”

People should be very careful with their hygiene and keeping clean. This flu is known to be deadly if contacted. The swine flu is “a highly contagious acute disease of pigs, caused by one of the several influenza A viruses. The disease is considered endemic in the United States. Outbreaks in pigs are also known to have occurred in North America, South America, Europe (including the UK, Sweden, and Italy), Africa (Kenya), and in parts of eastern Asia including China and Japan.”

Being aware of what’s going on in the world is very critical especially in a time like this when disease is killing people all of the world. If it weren’t for technology and the Internet then the public from all over the world wouldn’t be able to keep up up to the minute updates to prevent people from catching it.

Not only does the news update people on such a health scare but it protects people because it guides us to safety and gives us the information we need to keep our communities as clean and as disease free as possible.

Global News Blog: Swine Flu… Is It On Its Way to Australia?

April 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Posted by Lauren Kuhner

Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon said the Government is moving immediately to the “next phase of protection” against the disease.

“This is a very serious matter,” Ms Roxon said. “The World Health Organization has declared it a public health emergency.” And Queensland Health chief officer Jeanette Young, who had four possible cases of swine flu on her hands until late yesterday, warned it was likely to be a matter of time before the disease came to Australia.

To prevent the flu from entering Australia’s boarders the federal health department has said that the captains of all flights from the Americas and Mexico are obliged to report before they land in Australia whether anyone on board has flu-like symptoms.

Quarantine officers will be called in on arrival if at-risk passengers are identified.

Is the Australian federal Health department taking this to far? Well, In Mexico the confirmed death toll has hit 103 and 1614 more people are under observation, triggering a $205 million World Bank loan to help the developing nation battle the contagion.

Europe confirmed its first case of swine flu, in Spain, while the U.S. has 20 cases and Canada has reported six new infections. I took a crisis communications class this year and I think what the Australian health department is doing is what every country should have done.

They see the prodromes and protecting their people is what is most important to them. So I they feel if the health officials want the captain and flight attendants to look for people who might have flu like symptoms on the plane, and quarantine them when they get off they are just taking necessary precautions.

I don’t think they are being ridiculous they are just trying to protect their people and their country from this deadly disease.