By George Mauzy
You can never be too clean.
That is the motto that Ohio University's Greek organizations are taking this year during their annual fall recruitment periods to curb risk of potential influenza infections.
The Women's Panhellenic Association's recruitment period occurred the weekends of Sept. 18 through Sept. 25, while the Interfraternity Council members will conduct recruitment from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
With the H1N1 Influenza A virus becoming a growing concern on college campuses across the nation, Greek organizations are taking extra precautions to prevent the type of outbreak that has temporarily closed several universities across the nation.
Carol Preston, Ohio University's assistant director for Greek Life, said the Women's Panhellenic Association on campus has provided hand sanitizer, latex gloves and disinfectant wipes to all sorority houses during recruitment. Preston said all participants have been encouraged to use the sanitizer before and after they enter a sorority house.
She said each Greek house has been asked to use sanitary wipes to clean doorknobs, hand rails and other often-touched areas before and after recruit visits and latex gloves are being used by both the food servers and house cleaners. Participants will also limit hand-to-hand contact with other students during recruitment sessions.
Ohio University Women's Panhellenic Association President Mackenzie Smith said all nine of the sororities in the WPA are cooperating with the safety precautions.
"Everyone has some fear about contracting the H1N1 virus because it is really easy to spread germs," Smith said. "They all know the extra cleaning and safety precautions are worth it."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, H1N1 Influenza A, formerly known as the swine flu is primarily spread through coughing, sneezing and touching contaminated surfaces.
To avoid spreading the virus, the CDC Web site suggests people cover their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, wash their hands with soap and water, avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth and avoid close contact with sick people.