Tuesday April 28, 2009

Ounce of Prevention

As media worldwide follow the transmission of the swine flu, the University of Dayton offers its students caution, facts and practical wisdom.

Though the swine flu has not surfaced in the Dayton area, the University of Dayton is urging a dose of caution, an ounce of prevention and a reassuring reminder: Don't panic.

Even as media around the world exhaustively report the outbreak, University staff and faculty have turned to pertinent facts: People who traveled on spring break to Mexico, where the outbreak seems to have originated, are well past the virus' incubation period, and none of the students who come from Mexico traveled there for the break, said Amy Anderson, director of the University's Center for International programs. Though leaders of a Center for Social Concern service program in Mexico have canceled the mid-May trip as a precaution, students planning to do service work in Latin America for the summer continue to monitor the spread of the virus before making decisions.

In a letter to students as they prepared for final exams, graduation and move-out, Sister Annette Schmeling, R.S.C.J., dean of students and vice president for student development, delivered all of the sensible advice the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had to offer, with added points about nutrition, study and prayer:

  • Wash your hands. With soap. Frequent hand washing with soap and water is key to preventing the spread of flu. Waterless hand sanitizers also work.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to reduce the chance of getting flu germs in your system.
  • Sleep. Don't pull all-nighters. Sleep deprivation impairs your memory and your test performance and lowers your ability to fight off any virus.
  • Eat breakfast. When you skip breakfast, your blood sugar levels and other nutrient levels drop, depriving you of the required nutrition and energy for the rest of the day. Eat nutritious foods at regular meals throughout the day.
  • Exercise. Take advantage of the RecPlex's extended hours.
  • Pray. Take some time out of your busy schedule, eliminate distractions and be with God in the moment.
  • If you are experiencing cough, fever and/or sore throat, possibly along with diarrhea and vomiting, call the student health center at Ext. 93131 for an appointment.
  • For more information on the swine flu and the current CDC recommendations, visit the CDC Web site.

Schmeling's closing reflected both her leadership post and her vocation: a wish for success on finals and a blessed summer.