College suggests swine flu prep

Nearly 10,000 hospitalizations and almost 600 deaths in the United States have marked the months since the H1N1 virus outbreak in April, according to the Center for Disease Control. In June, the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic, the same month an Emerson graduate succumbed to the virus.

In response the Emerson College Center for Health and Wellness would like you to prepare yourself with a “Just in Case” Flu Kit.

The CDC guidelines sugget washing

your hands as long as it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday,” staying off the crowded T with that cough and-another heartbreaking suggestion for Emersonians especially-tossing that pack of cigarettes for good.

Viruses thrive in college, where close living and study quarters are coupled with late nights and junk food, all factors to invite illness. Self-imposed quarantine and skipped classes are clearly not a realistic solution to the H1N1 virus, and the CDC’s suggestion of “avoiding crowds” may not be very feasible either.

Enter: the “Just in Case” Flu Kit. The Emerson Center for Health and Wellness suggests a hefty list of supplies, including trash bags, Gatorade, salt packets and a cotton bandana.

The kit would also provide your basic remedies, from instant soups to ibuprofen.

It’s not a guarantee of protection, but the tea and cough medicine could make you more comfortable. But do you really need the extra Ziplock bags?