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Young adults are one of the groups hit hardest by H1N1 swine flu, but current tactics may not be effective at curbing the spread of the disease through university classrooms and dormitories, Ottawa researchers say.
"There's no question that they [students] see themselves as invulnerable," said Kim Matheson, a neuroscientist at Carleton University's Centre for Stress Management, who is conducting a study to figure out how to get flu prevention messages through to students. "I think most of them are pretty much ignoring it, primarily because they believe that even if they get it, that they're not going to get very sick."
An informal survey of about 25 Carleton students by a CBC reporter found only two expressed worries about getting swine flu.
According to the World Health Organization, one of swine flu's peculiarities is the high rate of severe illness among young healthy adults who are typically not at high risk from flu.