Despite receiving a seasonal flu shot Tuesday at the Memorial Union, Caroline DeVico isn't worrying about the possibility of a H1N1 flu outbreak at Oregon State University.
"I understand why some would be," DeVico, a junior in animal science, said. "But I am not."
DeVico, who received her shot through a clinic put on by OSU Student Health Services, said she has gotten a shot every year she has been in college.
"Even if there was an outbreak, I don't think I would isolate myself," DeVico said. "I would just take more precautions such as washing my hands more."
But isolating themselves from the rest of the campus population is what OSU officials want individuals to do if they experience H1N1 symptoms. In fact, students living in the dorms are encouraged to return home and work with professors remotely while they are ill.
For students who can't recuperate at home, OSU's University Housing & Dining Services is prepared to help students.
Ill students will be provided with "flu kits." All on-campus residence halls have been equipped with extra hand-sanitizer dispensers. Signs listing H1N1 symptoms and where to go for help have been posted.
"Flu buddies" are also being encouraged to help ill students obtain food and supplies, so the sick students can stay out of circulation. To help with this, university dining services is offering room service for the first time.
"Students can order flu meals online," said Josh Gana, the assistant director of housing services at OSU. "Then at various times throughout the day, staff will deliver them to the students."
Flu meals are nutritious meals consisting of a lot of fluids and soup, to aid ill students in their recovery.
Gana said the university learned a lot from a recent H1N1 outbreak at Washington State University, which affected more than 2,000 students.
"We were in touch with colleagues up there," Gana said. "They said it wasn't much worse than the seasonal flu, there was just a large number of people affected. They also said that the students did a great job taking care of each other."
While OSU officials get ready for a possible outbreak of H1N1, OSU students shared DeVico's feelings about the flu - and some are tired of hearing about it.
"I'm not too worried about it," said Kyle Karvandi, a senior in general science. "It's been advertised as more of a 24-hour type thing. I think it's over-advertised."
Nevertheless, student health service officials expect to see more students this fall and have added a modular building next to the Plageman Student Health Center on campus. The center also offered seasonal shots (such as the one that DeVico got Tuesday) earlier than it normally does this year. (A vaccine for H1N1 won't be available until October.)
Phill Histand, director of the student health center, understands why many students aren't concerned about the H1N1 flu. He said so far it has proved itself to be a mild to moderate illness for most affected people.
Histand warned that all OSU students are at risk during an outbreak, not just ones living in residence halls.
"I don't think anyone is more at risk," Histand said. "I guess if someone lived in an apartment by their self and avoided campus they would be at less risk. But I think as a student, it would be hard to not come to campus."