How Safe are College Dorms?


We all know the safety precautions our dorm buildings have to keep us safe.  This includes the need for an ID card to get into the building and an alarm for when the building door is open too long.  These come along with fire evacuation plans and smoke detectors.  Now that all of those safety precautions are taken care of, what about sickness?  Just how germ infested are the buildings that most of us will spend our entire freshman (or longer) living in?  One article even stated it was "a breeding ground for disease".  Two main illnesses that doctors warn college students from are Mono Nucleolus, or the "kissing disease" and Meningitis, which the same article states is spread by "coughing, sneezing, and sharing drinks and utensils".  Not only are these sicknesses feared in that environment, but other feared illnesses are the sexually transmitted diseases, or STD's. In fact, the Center for Disease Control has reported that "up to20 to 25 percent of United States college students are infected with a STD".  It has been reported that many times the reason that the student is getting sick, is because they are lacking sleep, either to socialize, party, or do homework.  The lack of sleep brings the student's immune system down, making it much easier for the student to get sick.  How do we stop this cycle?  Salt Lake Valley Epidemiologist Eileen Risk suggests that students take up "stringent personal hygiene", to help lower the chances of getting sick.  This includes washing your hands a lot to even using protection when coming into sexual contact with another.  It is very important for students to follow these rules, because it has been found that these illnesses spread the fastest through person to person contact.  Keeping to these rules will make it much easier to do all that studying instead of wasting time being sick throughout college!

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I can relate to this post a lot. My roommate last year had mono, strep, whooping cough, and a few colds. I found that getting plenty of sleep helped a lot. Check out this article if you want to learn more about the importance of sleep.

I definitely think people should be more aware of preventing sickness, especially here at Penn State! It makes sense that colds and other sickness can spread around easy, since everyone is coming from different places, not being immune to certain things. About the second week of class, my roommate got a cold, because everyone was coming back, living in a new place, and a new lifestyle and schedule. Using these tips,, it's a great way to see how to take care of yourself if you do get sick. Basically it's about taking care of your body to get healthy faster, in the best way!

A lot of the suggestions here seem like common sense. Of course we should be washing our hands often and of course we should be wearing protection while having sex.

It's no secret that living in an environment with a lot of people and not so much space is a hotbed for diseases. As long as everyone takes care of themselves it's unlikely that we will all contract anything more serious than a cold.

That's actually pretty gross and I'm so thankful that I am not living in the dorms anymore. It's crazy to think about how sick or germ-infested you can get when you are in a place that is supposed to be a safe place to learn. If anything here are some ways to stay healthy throughout the school year -

I definitely think last year was the sickest I have ever been. I got strep the first week of school and throughout the year, I had it 6 more times. I have my tonsils removed too so I should not be that vulnerable to strep throat. My roommate got mono, strep and was sick all the time. I feel like it's so hard to disinfect a room that you sleep in, do homework in, hang out in and sometimes eat in. I live in an apartment now, and I feel so much more clean.

This is a little bit of a scare to someone who is currently living in a dorm I would have to say. Especially as we approach the colder months and flu season begin to take its toll. It is reassuring however that maintain a good hygiene helps prevent getting sick.

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