Swat students plagued with the “Garnet Death”

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

It’s time to stock up on Vitamin C—-flu season has hit Swarthmore. Over the past few weeks, Worth Health Center has seen a large increase in the amount of disease around campus, not only from the flu but also viral infections and mono. “We’ve been inundated with sick students since the week of January 26th,” said Worth’s Linda Echols, “We’ve also been seeing about one student per week with mono—a bit high for us.”

Nicknamed by students as the Garnet Death, or Plague, the flu includes a fever, headaches, and fatigue, while the virus involves a 2-day fever and cold symptoms. Both of these can also include severe sore throats, nasal congestion, and muscle aches, and may lead to further complications such as bronchitis or ear infections.

“It was an all-over sickness—my whole body felt heavy and aching. There were points at which I couldn’t imagine ever being well again. I didn’t want to move,” said recent sufferer Megan Nelson ’07.

According to Echols, the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) website corroborates their findings, that the flu is wide spread in the area. “The February bouts tend to be worse because now we see mutated strains,” she noted. Students are recommended to follow basic methods of prevention, such as washing hands often and to avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands. Fluzone, the flu shot, and the nasal spray Flumist are also available at Worth for students who want protection.

For students getting over sickness, Echols recommends changing your sheets and toothbrush to prevent reinfection. She also advises to open windows and wipe down counters to remove germs.

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