In today's paper, the latest campus swine flu update.
The H1N1 virus hasn't yet become the danger public health officials have feared, but it is becoming increasingly common on college campuses.
The virus, similar to the common flu, hits young people hard. At UNC-CH, it has hit particularly hard, to the tune of about 700 cases so far this semester. But every campus around has had cases, from the big - N.C. State - to the small - Peace College.
There is no vaccine, yet, though drug makers are working on it and the first doses are expected to be available next month.
At NCSU, one professor has a thought as to why certain viruses spread so quickly on college campuses. Essentially, it is this: Students know how to practice good hygiene but don't do so.
Ben Chapman, an assistant professor of family and consumer services, recently published a study on a norovirus outbreak at the University of Guelph in Canada. He found that 83 percent of students who ate in a campus dining hall said they followed posted hygiene recommendations, but only 17 percent actually did so.
And part of the reason is the communication campaigns conducted by health agencies, which commonly use phrases like “self-isolate” and “gastrointestinal illness.”
If you're talking to a college student, Chapman argues, just tell them they'll puke if they don't wash their hands.
“A lot of the stuff that is out there is motherly and generic,” he said. “We have to target students differently than we need to target parents of little kids.”
You can read more about Chapman's study here.