Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Students left unaware of West Nile Virus

The first known Chico State student was just diagnosed with West Nile Virus, a virus that is transmitted by mosquitos. The virus has been in the Chico area since 2004 but has been increasingly prevalent in the past two years.

The symptoms of the virus include fatigue, flu-like symptoms and fever. Although 80 percent of people infected have no symptoms at all, the Chico State Health Center has not yet stated if they will be offering students West Nile tests.

And although the virus is at a peak time of the year for contraction and a student has now been infected, the school has not issued a warning.

With no warning, and no way to know if the disease has been contracted, will Chico State inform students and help them to protect themselves?

Thus far, Chico State hasn’t done much regarding West Nile Virus. Someone needs to inform students of what is going on in the community, and right now this is an issue in the community.

The city and county however, have done some things to counter the spread of the virus. They are targeting the mosquitos before they are fully grown by spraying a chemical on the outskirts of town in the middle of the night with a low flying plane.

Some of us may be concerned with the chemicals being sprayed near our community, but we think that it’s a trade-off that must be made in order to ensure residents safety.

The main change we would like to see be taken is for the student health center to begin offering West Nile tests. This would be a good way to ensure students are healthy.

In addition, an email blast from the school detailing tips on how to prevent contracting the virus, what symptoms to be aware of and how to avoid high incidence areas would be helpful.

With the first student contracting West Nile Virus, it is time for students and the school to become aware of the presence of this virus, because the more knowledge us students have, the more we can protect ourselves.

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