This week, Cornell staff and students have been inundated with information, reported cases, and mass hysteria centered around the dreaded swine flu. Forget budget cuts and that there are now two salad lines at Statler – we’ve got the urge to oink.
But what did a little swine ever do to you, besides giving you a temperature high enough to miss your sorority’s annual wine tour? Pigs were dealt the short end of the stick, and have paid countless contributions to our daily lives. Need proof? I present…
The Top Five Pigs (Swine) in Popular Culture…
NUMBER 5: WILBUR (The Literate Pig)
It wouldn’t be right to have a pig countdown without this porker on the list.
Cornell witnessed a surge of students experiencing flu-like symptoms over the holiday weekend, bringing the total number of students diagnosed by Gannett Health Services with probable H1N1 influenza to 291 as of last night.
Since individuals are not required to report having the flu and may choose to seek medical attention from other healthcare providers, this number only reflects those actually diagnosed at Gannett.
“We have no way of knowing how many people [in total] have H1N1 in our community of students, faculty and staff,” said Sharon Dittman, associate director of community relations at Gannett Health Services.
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.
The Cortland County Health Department announced yesterday that they are waiting for lab results from two suspected cases of swine flu in Cortland, N.Y., and they are investigating a third unrelated case to see if it meets the criteria for swine flu.
According to Theresa Lyczko, director of Health Promotion Program at Tompkins County Health Department, no additional information was available yesterday.
The Central N.Y. Real-Time News reported that one of the possible cases involves a Cortland County resident who works in Madison County and got sick after a trip to Mexico.
Although there has been no reported case of swine flu at Cornell or in Tompkins County, members of the Cornell community should “be alert and cautious but not panic,” according to Sharon Dittman, associated director of community relations at Gannett Health Services.
As of yesterday, 45 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in at least five states in the United States, including New York. Because it is a new strain of influenza, people are unlikely to have natural immunity against the flu, which is passed from human to human, according to Gannett’s website.
Dittman said that symptoms of the swine flu are “basically identical” to those of seasonal flu, which include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.