Teaching your students about hygiene

i-f875c0b07d9b3cb6229668554781b35a-alice.jpgI don't know about you, but here at Purdue, the administration is doing everything it can to freak us all out about the prospect of a flu pandemic. We're getting emails about how we need to figure out ways to cover class material if the university closes, we need ways to contact our students with "the new plan" if everyone comes down with flu, ways to help students catch back up if they're out with the flu, and for those of us who teach first-year students, telling students about the student health center and how they need to get a receipt when they go visit it so as to excuse their absences.

However, inspired by my friend Moreena, my team of first-year engineering instructors and I also showed the original viral video, "Why don't we do it in our sleeves?" to my class last week, in our first session together.

Moreena talked about it in the context of educating folks to be more germ-free around Annika, with Annika's immune system suppressed so she wouldn't reject her liver transplants. (It was a little less critical in our class, maybe.)

Okay, the video was a little long for our class. But it went off very well -- they laughed, they cried, and then they coughed and sneezed in their sleeves.

If I were evaluating this educational intervention, I would say it was "very effective" in the short term. We'll see how long it lasts.

More like this

In one episode of Futurama, Fry traps a giant brain in a book he wrote "a crummy world of plot holes and spelling errors." That's what it feels like to read the antics of Dembski and the gang. The latest offense to reason comes from DaveScot (predictably). Upon reading this: First, the germ-free…
Having a cold sucks. (After being sick for the past week, I feel I can say that with some confidence.) While they usually don’t kill us, a cold can make us feel miserable enough that we wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. So why do we? I’m not saying we wish it on others, but we happily pass it along…
THE human gut contains a diverse community of bacteria which colonize the large intestine in the days following birth and vastly outnumber our own cells. These intestinal microflora constitute a virtual organ within an organ and influence many bodily functions. Among other things, they aid in the…
[This post was originally published at webeasties.wordpress.com] The intestine is probably the most difficult organ for the immune system to deal with. First of all, it's huge (the surface area of the small intestine alone is about the same as a tennis court). Second, it's filled with microbes that…

Hi Alice,

This is TOTALLY the video that we have in our Disease Detectives exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota. I don't think we saw this particular piece when you came through town, but it's the exhibit with the giant nose. Do you recall?

Thanks for posting - it is indeed important!

The internet is so small! I love Moreena's blog--and I've lost track of the number of times someone on ScienceBlogs has referenced someone that I either know or whose blog would normally seem disconnected from scienceblogging but pops up anyhow.