swine flu


A student of Philosophy Hons 3rd year at LSR, Anisha Ahmed, was tested positive for the dreaded Swine Flu early last week. Her friends immediately informed the faculty upon which the college decided to take preventive measures to keep it from spreading.

In a special assembly called by the principal, Dr. Meenakshi Gopinath, the students were informed about the first detected case of Swine Flu at LSR and urged not to panic. Dr. Gopinath announced that the entire 3rd year batch of Philosophy Hons. Students will get a week’s leave with full attendance from college. Moreover professors who have taught Anisha will also be taking a week off. Students in the Dance Society of which Anisha was a part and those who traveled with her to or from college have also been granted leave.

This swift action is merely preventive in nature, Dr. Gopinath explained. The students on leave will take the time to take stock of their health and make sure they are not harbouring the infection. She also requested other students who may have been close to Anisha or shared space with her to inform the college in order that they may take leave as well and not risk endangering the other students. Anisha’s close friends have already been to get themselves tested and one of them has been declared clear of the infection. The other’s results are still awaited.

Interestingly enough Anisha was suffering from none of the symptoms when she was tested for the HINI virus. She claims to have merely gone to get herself tested because a close friend of hers had caught the disease. She is now resting at home under quarantine and though appreciative of any preventive measures the college might take, feels there is no cause for panic. Upon being asked whether the swine flu hysteria is justified she is vehement in her response. “Not at all”, she said when DU Beat contacted her over the phone. “Swine flu is like any other flu. I feel perfectly normal and hardly have any symptoms at all. The saddest part about it is that I am confined to one room. Now I’m just whiling away the time watching movies”, she laughs.

Dr. Gopinath is of the same opinion as to the flu scare. In her address to the students she emphasized the need to keep calm. She stated that only if students begin to panic will the college and hostel have to close down.

  1. A tour of DU’s toilets (with special mention to Venky for their untiring efforts at maintaining such high standards of filth)
  2. Prolonged exposure to Kangana Ranaut’s English/ Himesh Reshamiya’s songs
  3. RGV flicks (Agyaat, we hear, is particularly lethal)
  4. The Sad Jokes Corner (if it doesn’t kill you, it’ll at least induce suicidal tendencies)
  5. Mentos and Coke, if chain mails are to be believed

Swine Flu coverage is everywhere-on radio, television and newspapers. However a lot of misinformation seems to be doing the rounds and this is causing unnecessary panic. Here are some facts about swine flu which will definitely provide some relief to you and your family:-

Myth 1: Eating pork can be dangerous

There is absolutely no truth in this. When you eat pork, make sure it is well cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which kills off most of the bacteria, including the virus responsible for swine flu.

Myth 2: Flu is fatal

Though the flu is contagious, it is not deadly. A doctor clarifies, “A lot of people are prone to the flu, but you will ultimately survive it. The victims would be the people who have low immunity”

Myth 3: Mexican food can cause swine flu

Not at all, say the experts. Swine flu is definitely not caused by food supply, be it Indian or Mexican food.

Myth 4: Face mask is a sure -shot way of protecting oneself from swine flu

The answer could be a yes and a no at the same time. Although, one can use a face mask to protect oneself, it does not give guaranteed protection.

Myth 5: Flu is dangerous just for the elderly

This is one of the biggest myths. Anyone is susceptible, be it the elderly people or the younger generation, including children. Though there has been no evidence to prove that children are the most affected, but going by past instances there might be a possibility of young children being more vulnerable to swine flu.

Myth 6: The seasonal flu vaccine prevents swine flu

The vaccine for seasonal flu does not protect one against swine flu. Medical experts are working on developing a vaccine for swine flu, but that would take a couple of months.

Myth 7: The swine flu outbreak is worse than the SARS pandemic of 2000-03.

This is absolutely false. The SARS pandemic saw about 774 deaths which is much more than the people who have been affected by H1N1.

Swine flu has hit the country and how! Delhi University is not far behind here; students are caught up in their own perceptions about the flu, and are affected by the national mania, to say the least.

As one travels by the metro, one can see lots of students with masks on their faces as a precautionary measure. We are not even talking about the N-95 masks here; these are the normal disposable masks, which are quite easily available over the counter. That apart, one can see safety measures being followed in various colleges. Hans Raj for instance, has put up a notice stating that anybody with flu like symptoms should get himself/herself clinically assessed and stay at home, if need be. The staffs as well as students in DU are in the midst of the swine flu scare, and why not? With almost all national newspapers giving it prime space on their papers, this issue is bound to get out of control. Masks have not yet been seen on college campuses, but if it is blown out of proportion in the same way as it is being done presently, that is inevitable.

In fact, in colleges such as Hansraj and LSR rumors seem to be spreading faster than the flu itself. In Hans Raj, Mr. Subhash Kalra, one of the office department, developed fever on the 8th of August. In a matter of days, the news spread that somebody has contracted swine flu in college. Many students were not aware of this piece of news, except for a few. The office department was well aware though, and according to Kalra, this created some panic, which was enough to materialize into a rumor.

Meanwhile in LSR, one of the hostellers contracted fever, and yet again, swine flu mania preceded logic, and led to unnecessary panic.

However, exceptions are always there. Madhu Nath, a regular commuter in the metro says, “H1N1 is not a new virus. I guess people with poor resistance are more prone to be affected. I’m not scared. It’s an individual’s personal choice whether they want to use masks or not, and personally, I don’t think it’s required for all. It’s like any other flu, if you have contracted it, just stay at home!”

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