As fences were being put up, the stage was being constructed and students were finalizing social plans, the University advised students yesterday to take caution with their Slope Day celebrations in light of the recent nationwide swine flu threat.
With 91 cases of confirmed swine flu in the United States, including possible cases in central New York, the University is trying to ensure that the necessary health precautions will be taken by students on Slope Day when masses of students are set to congregate and potentially spread illnesses.
Each year from the beginning of November through the end of April, millions of Americans are stricken by the influenza virus. According to the website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “On average 5 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu; more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu.” While a flu shot does not guarantee total protection from this scourge of the winter season, the CDC notes that the injection is up to 90 percent effective in warding off influenza in healthy people under age 65.
As the days in Ithaca get shorter and colder, Cornellians increasingly fill the carrels of Olin and Uris library ready to study the night away. This is no coincidence as the end of the semester is the time for prelims, papers, and projects. However, the colder, darker days of winter also signals the start of the cold and flu season. While walking through the Olin, Uris, the dorms, or anyplace else it is not difficult to find someone already sniffling, sneezing, or coughing. As the winter days go by, more and more of your friends and peers will fall victim to these dreaded diseases.