Spread of H1N1 Virus Accelerates with Onset of Academic Year

They're slathering on hand sanitizer, wearing surgical masks to class, and at least one student erected a curtain in the middle of her dorm room hoping to create a hygienic barrier from her roommate.

As swine flu takes hold at the College Park campus of the University of Maryland, some of the most cautious students are even forgoing a sacred Thursday night ritual: $2 pitchers at the Thirsty Turtle on U.S. 1. To these germaphobes, no measure is too great to protect against the virus they've dubbed "the swine."

College administrators around the country are faced with a nearly insurmountable challenge: trying to stem the spread of the highly contagious swine flu virus amid the almost round-the-clock microbe-swapping behaviors of college students — many of whom are not all that concerned about the impending bug.