Let reason and facts prevail

With the recent appearance of tuberculosis on campus, we’re sure there’s a roomful of hypochondriacs somewhere sitting around reading about newfound symptoms they didn’t even know they had.

But don’t get whipped into a frenzy. Only one case of active tuberculosis has been found. The other 11 cases are latent, which means those 11 people can’t give the infection to someone else.

However, we still need to keep our guard. There could still be individuals out there infected who don’t even know it. The University targeted 250-300 people for testing. It tested 142.

Chances of any of the campus community becoming seriously ill are slim. But that doesn’t mean students shouldn’t practice a little preventive maintenance. If you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and afterwards go wash your hands. And wash them frequently even if you didn’t just cover them with bacteria.

Most importantly, don’t treat those who tested positive recently like lepers. They aren’t contagious. They just have been exposed to the bacteria. As Jan Dipley, director of Health Services, indicated, it is a lot like chicken pox.

And if you happen to be one of those who have been exposed to TB, don’t freak out. It’s not like you just found out you have AIDS, or you’re dying from cancer. You have an infection, and you need some medicine. Go through the treatment and meet it head on. In fact, if you were notified that you have been in direct contact with a carrier, go to the Health Center and get tested – it’s free.

Another point is it is a slow-acting virus, so don’t bum-rush the Health Center. Even the students who have been exposed to the active case recently won’t know for sure if they’re fine for awhile yet, because it sometimes takes time to have enough infection in your system to react to the test.

So don’t go all crazy and start shooting up the town with threats of suing the school for all it’s worth.