Beer Pong Spreads H1N1 – Say College Officials
With 21 students now infected, students at Rensselaer Polytechnic in New York State have been asked to stop playing the drinking game ‘beer pong’, which officials suspect may have spread the virus.
Health officials at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy New York have asked students to stop playing beer pong, after the drinking game was implicated in the spread of H1N1 between university students last weekend.
The college currently has 21 reported cases of swine flu, as well as an additional 7 students in isolation at present who are potential cases.
Beer pong is a drinking game in which players toss ping pong balls into the cups of opposing players. The virus is transferred from the hand to the ball to the cup – and then consumed, causing virus transmission.
The University’s health center has announced that H1N1 vaccines are scheduled to arrive at the school within weeks.
In addition to the direct transfer of the virus via drinking games, partying with excessive alcohol may increase a person’s general susceptibility to infection. Research earlier this year published in the journal BMC Immunology, indicates that a single session of binge drinking suppresses immune system function for about 24 hours thereafter.