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Sick Students: 5 Ways Universities Can Avoid Health Issues (186 hits)

Anywhere that you have a lot of people from different backgrounds getting together in tight quarters, you have a chance of spreading disease. A special risk for colleges is that infectious illness could spread through the faculty, or the college itself be held liable for outbreaks. Here are some steps your institution can take to minimize the spread of illness.


See about making arrangements with the government or local healthcare companies to distribute low-cost vaccines to your students and faculty, especially for new arrivals. A yearly flu vaccine should be part of this, but hepatitis and meningitis are infectious diseases that seem to hit colleges hard. Nearly 4 million people in the U.S. Have hepatitis and most arenít even aware of it. About 4,100 cases of meningitis are reported each year.

Wash Hands

Itís surprising how many people donít even think about it. A single sneeze can spread germs up to six feet away, contaminating crowded places like lecture halls. Start posting notices all over the school reminding faculty, staff, and students to wash their hands frequently. Stress critical times such as before eating, after using the bathroom, and whenever someone else is showing signs of illness.

Provide Hand Sanitizer

Not everyone has the time to give their hands a proper scrubbing during a busy academic schedule. To allow for this, provide hand sanitizer to students, or at least make it available in college stores. Remind dormitories and fraternities/sororities to keep a good supply. Faculty should also keep them handy in desks or briefcases. The more people that are seen using it, the more it will influence the habits of others.

Minimize Sharing

Discourage sharing as much as possible. Bringing people into close quarters to use the same physical materials encourages spreading germs. Remind students to bring their own books, pencils, pens, and so forth to every class. Take a few minutes at the end of every lab exercise to clean the equipment with alcohol-based wipes. Faculty and staff should periodically use disinfectant sprays to clean surfaces.

Watch for Mold

It usually appears as growing colonies of black splotches wherever excess moisture collects. When it grows in hidden places like under sinks or behind walls, you might notice it by its unpleasant odor. Uncontrolled, it can lead to difficulty breathing, headaches, itching, and other symptoms that might be ascribed to unrelated problems. Keep a company like Vines Plumbing on call, and encourage all students and faculty to be on the lookout for mold and to report it immediately.

The spread of infectious disease can have a serious effect on your institutionís reputation. You should take all reasonable precautions to see that youíre providing a sanitary environment.
Posted By: Dixie Somers
Thursday, December 7th 2017 at 2:43PM
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