On March 2, 2014, Christine Larson, director of Japanese Cultural Institute at Katsucon (among many other positions at at Katsucon Entertainment, Inc.), died due to complications from the H1N1 virus. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Larson family. The H1N1 virus that Larson contracted weakened her immune system, which made her susceptible to the pneumonia that led to her untimely death. It is still unconfirmed how, where, and when Larson was exposed to H1N1, but, based on the incubation period of the virus, many people are assuming she got it while at Katsucon.
Flu-related deaths are not uncommon: According to the Center for Disease Control, about 3,000 to 49,000 people die every year from the flu, which is why many doctors push for patients to get flu shots. Even if you have a strong immune system, that doesn’t mean everyone else around you does, and if you are going to be at a convention, you should really consider getting a flu shot because you’re around hundreds of people who could either be carrying or are susceptible to the flu. You wouldn’t want to catch the flu or give it to your friends, or even a loved one at home.
You should keep in mind that people at conventions could be carrying other viruses. Your immune system might be weakened during or after cons, because at conventions you might not take as good care of yourself as you normally would. Here are just a few tips on how to keep yourself healthy, not only at conventions, but also in your daily life:
- If you have a fever or show signs of illness, STAY HOME.
- Wash your hands before eating, or at least after going to the bathroom.
- Avoid sharing personal items, specifically makeup and anything that goes near your nose or mouth.
- Sleep. I know cons are exciting and you want to be up all night with friends, but get as much sleep as you can. Take naps if you must.
- Stay hydrated. The human body can technically survive three days without water, but while cons typically last three days, don’t take that chance. Drink plenty of water.
- If you can legally drink alcohol, no one can tell you not to drink. Just remember alcohol dehydrates you. So DRINK THAT WATER.
- Eat food. Your body needs calories to burn. Even if you can only snack throughout the day, it’s better than not eating at all.