The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Mexico fans react after Mexico F Julián Quiñones 73rd-minute goal during the MexTour match between Mexico and Brazil at Kyle Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
‘The stuff of dreams’
Ian Curtis, Sports Reporter • June 11, 2024

As soon as the Mexico-Brazil soccer match at Kyle Field was announced, Jacob Svetz and Caitlin Falke saw an opportunity.  The match was scheduled...

The Fighting Texas Aggie Band performs at halftime during Texas A&Ms football game against ULM at Kyle Field on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023.
Gridiron glory to multi-event marvel
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • June 7, 2024

Special teams: Special events  “My favorite thing about an event is seeing the people come into the stadium and seeing their excitement...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Review: ‘Furiosa’ is a must-see
Justin ChenJune 4, 2024

My jaw dropped open in 2016. Rarely in life does that happen, but the viewing experience of “Mad Max: Fury Road" was something to behold....

Texas A&M pitcher Chris Cortez (10) reacts during Texas A&M’s game against Oregon at the NCAA Bryan-College Station Super Regional at Olsen Field on Saturday, June 8, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
One step away
June 8, 2024

Swine flu shuts area schools

The Swine Influenza virus has made its presence known in Texas. Almost all of the state’s major metropolitans have confirmed cases, and each of those cities are attempting to slow the spreading process of the contagious disease.
San Antonio has shut schools down and Austin dioceses are ordering the discontinuation of the Blood of Christ offering at Eucharist.
“All Eucharistic ministers should wash or sanitize their hands after the sign of peace and before distributing communion,” said the Bishop of Austin, Gregory M. Alymond, in a letter to the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Austin Wednesday. “It is not a sin to miss Mass if you are sick; it is an act of charity.”
Churches around the Brazos are taking many of the same precautions.
“For as long as necessary, we will be providing hand sanitizer at the entries of the Sanctuary. No person with even a sniffle will be serving communion,” said Matt Idom, of First United Methodist Church in Bryan, in a letter to the parishioners.
Precautions that expand much further than the religious realm are popping up over College Station.
An upcoming Texas A&M study abroad trip to Mexico, which 78 students were attending, has been canceled because of the swine flu outbreak.
“All of the decisions that I’m making are based on ensuring the safety, health and well-being of our students and faculty,” said Eric Bost, vice president for Global Initiatives.
But international programs aren’t the only ones putting a halt on Aggie travel. Breathe Hope, a student service organization dedicated to increasing Cystic Fibrosis awareness and helping fight the disease, makes regular trips to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston to visit the children in the Cystic Fibrosis ward.
Aware of the rising swine flu epidemic, Breathe Hope member Lacey Johnson called Texas Children’s to ensure that their visit would be allowed.
“When I called, they told me that they were just about to call me,” Johnson said. “Basically, they said we couldn’t go.”
Johnson said that Cystic Fibrosis is a respiratory disease; therefore, any type of illness can become a huge threat to a patient’s life.
Despite the 16 cases and one death in Texas alone, as of Wednesday, the influenza has yet to reach the pandemic level. However, state officials aren’t dropping their guard.
Gov. Rick Perry issued a disaster declaration for Texas on Wednesday, which allows the state to seek federal reimbursement for protective measures against the influenza.
As of Wednesday, no cases of confirmed or probable swine flu infections have been reported in Brazos County, but the county health department has mailed 57 test specimens to a state laboratory.
In any case, until this outbreak becomes controlled, officials over all public gatherings and safety institutions are encouraging everyone to take a more cautious approach.
Recommendations for staying healthy include covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and properly throwing the tissue away after usage; washing your hands with soap and water, or using anti-bacterial liquid as often as possible; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; and avoiding close contact with sick people.
“This is a novel strain of flu,” said Julie Anderson, health services director for the county health department. “But just because it’s a new strain doesn’t mean it’s any more deadly than the seasonal flu.”

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