Airborne Illnesses in College Environments

Megan Prevost, Biotechnology Major

All around us there are people with health issues that you could never even notice just by

looking at them. People have allergies to all kinds of things: peanuts, fruits and yes, even


The proper name for it is a latex allergy. One’s allergy can cause a reaction in many

different ways. Some people have an ingestion-based allergy or a touch-based allergy, though in

most cases (usually nuts and latex) these allergies can be airborne. Airborne means that

something is being carried through the air; in this case, a certain allergen, or more specifically,


This means that if a condom or even just a latex balloon is left open in say, a hallway,

anyone with a latex allergy could have an allergic reaction just by being near an open condom.

If you’re going to open a condom or a peanut butter sandwich, make sure you use it in the

comfort of your own home for its originally intended purpose. Whether it being having sex or

simply eating a sandwich, make sure you’re not using either associated object around anyone

with an airborne illness.

But most importantly, be careful and make sure you know the allergies of the people you

care about and the people around you, and if they tell you that they have a certain allergy, be

understanding and listen to the rules.

And definitely make sure that you don’t mix the latex and the peanut butter.


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