Swine flu: what's the hype?

“With a brand new semester well under way, students may have more to worry about than just being sick of school. Across the world new cases of the dreaded H1N1 virus have been popping up, with little progress towards a vaccine. You may know it by the name Swine Flu.”

With a brand new semester well under way, students may have more to worry about than just being sick of school.

Across the world new cases of the dreaded H1N1 virus have been popping up, with little progress towards a vaccine.

You may know it by the name Swine Flu.

But what exactly is it, and how close could it possibly be to knocking on your front door?

Most people know what it’s not.

It’s not your everyday run of the mill flu and it’s not treatable…yet.

However, if at any given time the virus decides to strike the University of Akron most students may not even realize they have it.

Symptoms, to name a few, include headaches, coughing, chills, muscle aches and fever.

Kind of sounds like any old flu, right?

Only seasonal flu has one little thing that the H1N1 virus doesn’t. An effective vaccine.

At the peak of the disease season, China’s cases could reach up to 10,000 and the outbreak in Mexico has resulted in 108 confirmed deaths thus far.

If that’s not enough to scare the reader out of their wits, Washington State University had 2,000 reported cases from students who experienced symptoms.

Overall, there have been at least 593 deaths in the U.S. attributed to H1N1 and that’s only second to Brazil, which has 657 deaths on record.

The biggest question in everyone’s minds is probably how did it spread so fast? and there’s a pretty simple answer.

H1N1 spreads like any other flu, which means that prevention starts with frequently washing your hands, covering your mouth when coughing, keeping your hands away from your face and so forth.

If symptoms arise, the next best thing is to visit your health care physician right away, and calling ahead gives them get a chance to take all the necessary precautions to protect themselves and the patients around them.

The last thing anyone wants is to get their doctor sick too, especially if they might be the only person who can help you.