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Health Center skeptical Spring Break H1N1 will reach campus

Public health officials have expressed concern over a possible reappearance of swine flu after Spring Break.
Flu activity in the U.S. is low nationally, but states in the southwest have reported regional activity and the southern hemisphere is about to enter its flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Studies of the swine flu, both locally and nationally, said it’s possible illness reports will increase in possible months, seeing as the strain was strongest in spring and fall of last year. Students who traveled on Spring Break and were not immunized could be the most at risk, according to the Traverse City Record.
Dr. Jessica Higgs, medical director of Health Services, said the idea of students bringing the swine flu back with them was a definite and real possibility, but the decrease in flu activity has been significant.
“The incubation time, or time it takes you to get sick once exposed to the virus, is one to 14 days,” Higgs said. “We have passed that timeline.”
Higgs said students have come into Health Services with flu symptoms but have not expressed any worries that they have picked up a strain of H1N1.
Bradley students are not the only ones unconcerned about contracting the swine flu. Spring travel to Mexico has risen about 25 percent from last year, according to Travelocity’s senior editor Genevieve Shaw Brown. And in February, Cancun saw 85 percent of its hotel rooms filled, compared to last year when one million fewer visitors came.
Tourism officials said they expect about 25,000 spring breakers to visit Cancun’s beaches compared to the 20,000 spring breakers who visited last year.
Even though Higgs said swine flu is not a prevalent concern on campus she still urges students to exercise caution.
“Students should always be cautious about protecting themselves from germs,” she said. “The same rules still apply as in the fall. Clean your hands, cover your cough contain your illness to protect others.”
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