- Posted September 13, 2013 by
Common Illnesses Spread Quickly at College Campuses
Upper Respiratory Infection -
An upper respiratory infection is usually referred to as the common cold. This is typically the most widespread illness on campuses.
Influenza, commonly called the flu, can spread rapidly once one person on campus has acquired it. In fall 2009, the H1N1 pandemic virus or swine flu rapidly established itself. It is no longer classified as a pandemic, but the H1N1 swine flu virus continues to circulate. Because the H1N1 virus affects more younger people than the seasonal influenza, the H1N1 virus is a concern on many college campuses.
Mononucleosis, or mono, is one of the worst illnesses that spreads on college campuses because it lasts for a longer period of time. Mono is often referred to as the "kissing disease" because it can be spread through the oral secretions of an infected individual. It is more commonly spread via coughing, sneezing, and sharing drinking glasses.
Gastroenteritis is commonly known as the stomach flu.The stomach flu is generally caused by a viral infection.
Conjunctivitis is usually referred to as pink eye. he leading cause of pink eye is from a viral infection, but it can also be caused by a bacterial infection, an allergic response, or irritation from environmental factors. Pink eye caused by a viral infection and must run its course.
Meningitis is most often caused by a bacterial or viral infection. It also may be caused by a fungal infection, a reaction to certain medications or medical treatments, an inflammatory disease such as lupus, some types of cancer, or a traumatic injury to the head or spine.
These are just a few of the common illnesses spread on college campuses. One common germ-spreading mechanism on college campus involves the transfer and sharing of food and drink. However, the practice of food sharing may be embedded in social convention and thus, difficult to prevent.
In order to lower your risk of infection, you should wash your hands frequently, avoid sharing drinking glasses or eating utensils, and avoid close contact with an individual who is ill. If you acquire an illness and your symptoms persist or become severe, you should visit the medical clinic on your campus or your family doctor.
(Photo Credit: HerCampus.com)