The Seahawk

Death resurfaces pedestrian cross bridge conversation

On November 1 around 10:45 pm, an adult male was struck and killed walking outside of the designated crosswalk on South College Road.Hundreds of students wait patiently to cross the seven lane highway...

NC ranks 50th in teacher ranking poll

WalletHub dealt North Carolina a crushing blow last week when a study ranking the best and worst states for public school teachers placed the Tar Heel State as 50th of 51 territories that include the District...

N.C. ends Teaching Fellowship Programs

Kathrin Bittner | Intern January 15, 2015

Recent government decisions led to the removal of several education programs, jump-starting a decline of teachers in North Carolina."One of the main factors contributing to that decline is the state ending...

Hawks for Hunger accepting donations to provide for local families

Nathan Johnson | Interning Writer November 17, 2014

UNC Wilmington is now accepting donations for its charity campaign, Hawks for Hunger.For every gift or donation made during the month of November, the Hawks for Hunger sponsors will donate a meal to a...

WPD initiates use of body cameras

Nathan Johnson | Intern October 20, 2014

Beginning this month, criminal activity in the city of Wilmington, N.C. will be monitored.Police around Wilmington are embracing the use of personal body video cameras. However, the UNC Wilmington police...

NC ban on same-sex marriage struck down

Joe Lowe | News Editor October 11, 2014

Gay marriage is now legal in 29 states including North Carolina.Two years ago, North Carolina approved Amendment One, a constitutional amendment slamming the door shut on same-sex marriage for the state....

Supreme Court takes steps toward same-sex marriage in NC

On Oct. 6th, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in five states: Wyoming, Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, and Virginia.The refusal to review the marriages of seven couples in five different states led...

N.C. film industry faces economic decline

Nathan Johnson | Intern October 7, 2014

This year, the North Carolina film industry faces major economic decline due to new incentives.Currently, film productions fill out a form on the North Carolina Film’s website if they are interested...

Wilmington Guns robbed

Nathan Johnson | Intern September 6, 2014

Thirty-nine handguns were stolen from the Wilmington Guns store at 7213 Market St. on Aug. 28. The theft took place around 4:50 a.m.The robbers entered through the front door window, and broke into the...

Vandalized Wrightsville Beach landmark safe; Future up for debate

A handmade mailbox tucked in the dunes of Wrightsville Beach, that once enticed thousands to thoughts behind in a notebook, was recently forced into retirement by vandals- devastating tourists, students...

E. Coli breakout

When the Cleveland County Fair in Shelby, N.C. ended on October 7, it left some patrons with more than good spirits and funnel cake. Thirty-eight fairgoers had been infected with a harmful strain of the E. coli bacterium, which has already killed a two-year-old victim.

This outbreak is reminiscent of similar ones at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh this time last year, the multi-state infection that occurred this past June, as well as the spinach epidemic in September of 2006.  These E. coli outbreaks are raising questions about food regulation and safety. With outbreaks occurring years and months after each other, how can we-or is it even possible to-prevent repeated infections?

While the sources of this year's outbreak are still under investigation, last year's cause seems to be the livestock kept at the state fair. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says a contracted E. coli infection "occurs when people consume contaminated foods or liquids." The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) explains how transmission can also happen when thorough hand washing is neglected, especially after coming in direct contact with an infected person or animal. It appears that this reasoning is the basis of epidemiologists' conclusions from last year's outbreak as well. Perhaps similar occurrences spurred this year's infection, however, it is impossible to conclude while investigations are still underway. 

Among the E. coli buzz in North Carolina, another infectious disease festers in recent headlines: meningitis. The state is one of fifteen, as recent data from the NC Department of Health and Human Services shows, where confirmed cases of this disease have been documented. Two in-state infections are a result of a contaminated steroid shot for back pain. 257 non-fatal cases originating from the shot that came from Framingham, Massachusetts in states from Idaho to Florida.

This particular epidemic is from a kind of fungal meningitis. The disease can also be transmitted through bacteria, a virus, or other means, and causes inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord when the cerebrospinal fluid is infected. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention lists tell tale symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, and a stiff neck as possible signs of an infection. If left untreated, the bacterial strain can be fatal. This more severe meningococcal infection is spread through droplets in the air, or by kissing, sharing drinks, silverware, and even cigarettes. This is why schools-particularly large colleges and universities-are prime locations for outbreaks.

While the effects of the disease can prove harmful, vaccinations are available to prevent contraction. At UNCW, the Abrons Student Health Center (SHC) provides a Bacterial Meningitis vaccine for an additional fee of $95 on a walk-in basis. First-year students are required to receive the meningococcal vaccine upon entering UNCW and most other colleges, where residence halls and dormitories are optimal locations for the bacteria to spread. The SHC resource is important for students who had been given the vaccine earlier and need it renewed. Infection should be virtually impossible for students who have the vaccine and practice general, healthy behaviors.

The spread of infections can be contained, but it is largely due to the behaviors and responsibilities of those who come in contact with the infected persons or organisms. Recurring infections and outbreaks are appearing by means of human error or carelessness, but also the natural unpredictability of the diseases. By examining the past epidemics and maximizing one's personal preventive manners, each infection's impact can be subsequently lessened. 

County officials spur local protests and national scrutiny over contraception vote

By Samuel Wilson | Staff Writer March 18, 2012

In the realm of local politics, we often think in terms of more nuanced and less polarizing issues than those we hear discussed on nationally syndicated talk shows and throughout the halls of Capitol Hill. ...

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