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NDSU Spectrum April 25, 1980
"Epidemic of spring fever affects students different than most"
by Michael Halm
The SU psychology department is investigating the near epidemic of strange behavior that has afflicted many residents of the Fargo-Moorhead area recently.
"We first became personally concerned about the situation when one of our research assistants did not show up as expected," said Dr. William Beatty. "We thought that he might have gotten lost while observing the interesting animal behavior in the field."
The mysterious illness has been tentatively identified as pyrexia vernus or spring fever.
Since Hippocrates' time fever has been thought of as a favorable symptom and in 1980 Julius Wagner von Jauregg started using fever as treatment in nervous disorders.
It is thought that spring fever may be merely a symptom of some deeper psychological disturbance, such as dementia paecox or the insanity of youth, rather than a distinctive disease of itself.
The 'illness' has an incubation period of several months and is characterized by the abrupt onset of hyperactivity and other compulsive behaviors.
The most commonly and most severely affected are children and young adults who may show profuse sweating, muscular pain or skin discoveration.
Although the mortality rate is low, there is no known treatment and all antibiotic are ineffective.
The Nelson Health Center officials say, "We don't see hardly any of them in here."
"Dr. Carl Gustavson and I were forced to visit the approbriate observation sites near the dorms ourselves, but our search for our research assistant was unsuccessful.". Beatty aid.
There seems to be some evidence that the illness affects male and female college students differently.
While both exhibit highly unstudious behavior, the males tend to show tendency to thaasophobia, an abnormal fear of inactivity, while the female appear nearly immobile.
The males in general and a few females on campus last Thursday were throwing various spherical and disc-like objects called balls and frisbees. Some of both sexes took part in the strange ritual of car tuning.
The females had many hazardsto endure as a result of the male activity near Burgum, not only the soccer and softball players, but the cruisers as well.
When asked why she was there one coed answered, "I'm trying to get some sun. I'm leaving studying until night."
A more developed case responded, "I'm going to get a sunburn, even if it kills me."
The less severe cases were able to study on on the Union patio or on the grass. Some practiced music outside of South Engineering.
The psychological conflict that produces this illness is well described by the overheard statements, "It's going to have to rain soon or I'll flunk out," and "God, I don't want to go to class."
The tendancy for the disease to develop into a guilt complex or amnesiac state is clear.
One frisbeeist used the weather as his excuse but admitted that he felt like he should be studying.
Another, a girlwatcher, had a different anxiety.
"Isn't it disgusting>" he said. "So many bodies you can't touch."