H1N1 Threatens College Campuses

Dr. Jim Gibbs, West Texas A&M Student Health Center
Dr. Jim Gibbs, West Texas A&M Student Health Center

Confined spaces, large populations, and a possibly deadly contagious disease combine to make the prefect cocktail on college campuses for a devastating H1N1 outbreak.

While there are no confirmed H1N1 cases in the area yet, several colleges around the nation have already experienced minor outbreaks.

Student health centers around the area are taking notice.

"This virus specifically the swine flu does seem to cause more complications in people under 25 even if they're healthy," said Kristin Kuhlmann, the Director of Health Services at Eastern New Mexico University.

"We're sure trying to be prepared and ready if it does hit and certainly if we have high volumes that could significantly impact the campus," said Dr. Jim Gibbs with the West Texas A&M Student Health Center.

WT says they are urging students to be smart about sicknesses and to get checked out immediately.

ENMU says for the first time ever they've handed out flu kits.

"It's just informational and a few things that are tools to find out if they really do have the flu and a high fever," said Kuhlmann.

WT says they have requested the swine flu vaccine shots but have not heard yet if and when they will get them.

ENMU says they are expecting the shots in mid-October or early-November.

But Kuhlmann says that may be too late.

"I think we may start seeing it in our schools pretty quickly here just because we have so many students so close together," said Kuhlmann.

All the experts we spoke with today say wash your hands, and cover your cough to keep the flu from spreading.