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Study Shows College Students Are Not Following CDC Recommendations to Help Protect Themselves from H1N1 and Other Threatening Germs
Date:9/29/2009

emote controls and shared bathroom sink handles fare relatively well, both were found to be contaminated with MRSA, the dangerous drug-resistant bacteria, in some dorm rooms studied.(8)

"These findings compound the concerns many parents have about their child's health when they're away at college and out of their home," says Dr. Elizabeth Scott, co-director of the Simmons College Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community. "Parents can help students stay healthy at college by encouraging them to take small preventative measures every day to help protect themselves from germs."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, universities and parents should encourage students to follow these healthy hygiene routines:(9)

  • Practice good hand hygiene. They should wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.(10)
  • Practice respiratory etiquette. The main way flu spreads is from person to person in droplets produced by coughs and sneezes, so it's important that people cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when they cough or sneeze. If they don't have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their elbow or shoulder, not their hands.(11)
  • Stay home if they are sick. Stay home or in their place of residence for at least 24 hours after they no long have a fever.(12)
  • Talk to their health care providers about whether they should be vaccinated. More information about priority groups for vaccination is available at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm.(13)

In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, families and students can help protect themselves and prevent the spread of influenza virus by keeping surfaces (especially bedside tables, surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen counters
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