Under the weather: students must exercise caution in preventing the spread of disease on campus

Brandon Nelson and Brandon Nelson

With classes starting again after winter break, we are rapidly approaching allergy season and its contemporary counterpart – the flu.

It is imperative that students avoid over-exerting themselves and putting fellow students at risk by not coming to school when under the weather.

Students get sick every flu season and still come to school to avoid getting behind in class, potentially exposing fellow students.

Every person’s immune system is different, and if a student catches a contagious sickness like the flu, they have a chance of spreading it to their families as well.

While some can shake off colds and flus, family members such as grandparents or younger children may not be able to overcome the flu or cold and have it develop into something worse.

Flus and colds are not the only things students need to worry about – on January 21, Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, announced that there were 59 confirmed cases of Measles in California, 42 of which could be traced to Disneyland.

Every day students go out into the world and expose themselves to germs, and it is up to them not to exercise caution and not spread it to their fellow students, family or professors.

The health center on campus advises students to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, get recommended vaccines for their age and risk groups, avoid people who show symptoms of being sick, and cover coughs with sleeves or a tissue.

If students are carrying a fever that is over 100.5 degrees, it is recommended they stay home entirely.

I have experienced the scourge of sickness recently, as I was exposed to a cold at the end of the fall semester and later spread it to my father and my fiance.

My dad appeared to be overcoming it, but it didn’t go away and eventually turned into a full-blown case of pneumonia.

Thankfully, my fiance was able to get over it and not pass along the cold to her grandmother who has a very weak immune system.

Stashing a spare hand sanitizer bottle for quick, readily accessible use in a backpack goes a long in helping to stop the spread of germs.

Doctor’s masks are also effective to prevent coughs and sneezes from spreading sickness, even if it they are considered tacky.

Avoiding physical contact with individuals who are sick altogether is also effective in avoiding the spread of germs.

In the end, the best way for students to avoid infecting others is to simply stay home and work on recovering from their sickness while it passes the stage of being contagious to others.

As many professors on campus do not excuse students from missing more than three classes before dropping them, exercising adherence and using those essential “get out of jail free” absences for situations like being sick can make all the difference.