Health Hazards Lurking in College Dorms

Ah, college – the time for both serious studying and serious partying! College opens up a door for freedom, something that teens are very eager to have. But don’t get too carried away. If you’re moving to dormitory away from your parents, learn about the health hazards that are hiding in college dorms.

(Hazard 1) Meningitis
Germs are spread too easily inside dormitories. Sharing rooms, bathrooms and things is a very effective way to spread the germs that bring the bacterial meningitis. This is a potentially fatal infection that harms the brain’s and spinal cord’s membranes. It’s important to get a meningitis vaccination prior to the start of your college life. Keeping the room sanitary and washing your hands frequently can also help. Sleep sufficiently so you can keep your immune defense strong.

(Hazard 2) Kissing Disease
Mononucleosis, more popularly known as the “kissing disease” is passed through close contact such as, yes you guessed it right, kissing. It can also be passed by sharing drinks. As much as possible, avoid direct and indirect mouth-to-mouth contact, particularly with people you barely know or from someone you suspect of being ill. It’s imperative to wash your hands all the time. If you’re inflicted with this disease, you’d need weeks of bed rest, which means missed classes and potentially low grades.

(Hazard 3) Colds and Flu
Anything that’s contagious can be a serious threat inside the college dormitory, so it’s not a surprise to find colds and flu on this list. The tiny living space is the breeding ground for flu and common colds, which are respiratory ailments passed through vapor droplets. About 26 percent of people affected with swine flu in 2009 belonged to the bracket of young people aged 5 to 24 years old, as stated in the report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Hand washing is your best defense against this. Wearing face masks can also be useful.

(Hazard 4) Molds
A few molds here and there shouldn’t freak you out. But if your room is invaded by molds, this can be hazardous to your health. According to the Center for School Mold Help, molds are detrimental for people suffering from asthma, allergies, and other respiratory ailments. Since molds thrive best in warm and damp areas, it is essential to keep clothes, kitchen and bathrooms dry.

(Hazard 5) STDs
It’s alarming that as many as 25 percent of college students in the United States is infected with a form of sexually transmitted disease. On top of the list is HPV, which stands for human papillomavirus. The next rank belongs to chlamydia. STDs cannot be contracted from bed sheets or toilet seats. It can only be passed from one person to another through sexual contact. It’s imperative to practice safe sex that will protect you from such health problems. Use of condoms can prevent not only pregnancy but also STDs.

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