Four cases of H1N1 have been confirmed at the CU, according to the CU News Center. Another 85 have been identified as probable cases based on positive test results for Type A Influenza.
As recently as Aug. 21, the CU News Center reported eight possible cases of H1N1 but none had been confirmed.
According to CU spokesman Bronson Hilliard, the number of confirmed cases will be updated every Friday. As H1N1 is a strain of Type A Influenza, H1N1 case numbers are expected to grow as testing continues.
“We expect there are more than 85 probable cases right now, but the actual numbers won’t be released until Friday,” Hilliard said.
Type A Influenza and H1N1 cause the same physical symptoms in victims and are indistinguishable without testing. According to the CU H1N1 Flu Information Web site, symptoms of H1N1 and Type A Influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and slight nausea.
Information posted on the Web site encourages individuals experiencing these symptoms to self-isolate and begin self-treatment until 24 hours after any fever has ended. Students living in the residence halls and experiencing symptoms are advised to report to their resident advisor to receive kits including food items and surgical masks.
Dorm residents may be concerned about what precautions to take in the event of a roommate falling sick.
Katie Christensen, a 20-year-old sophomore international affairs major living at College Inn, explained she is not nervous about getting sick herself, but would briefly move out if her roommate fell ill.
“I would stay away,” Christensen said. “I would probably start crashing at my neighbor’s.”
Hilliard explained that roommates can decrease chances of getting sick by washing their hands constantly, avoiding sharing items such as water bottles or Chap Stick and staying to one side of the room.
“Surgical masks need to be worn by the sick roommate, not the healthy one,” Hilliard said. “The healthy roommate should also stay three feet away from the sick, and the two should continually clean off common areas.”
Wardenburg Health Center staff members are currently only considering those at high risk for H1N1-related complications as potential recipients of anti-viral medications such as Tamiflu. People considered to be at high risk for complications include those who are pregnant, have diabetes, or have continuously worsening flu symptoms.
“Tamiflu doesn’t cure the flu,” Hilliard said. “Tamiflu lessens flu symptoms, making people at risk the number one priority.”
Hilliard confirmed that CU is working with Boulder County Public Health to try and acquire a portion of H1N1 vaccines for the coming winter season.
According to Hilliard, the H1N1 vaccine is expected to become available in mid October. Boulder County Public Health clinic reports that seasonal flu vaccines will be supplied to various public immunization clinics, or residents can receive a vaccination from their health care provider.
When the vaccine becomes available, Hilliard recommends that students should get both an H1N1 vaccine and a seasonal flu vaccine to avoid a potentially hazardous combination of the two illnesses.
Wardenburg Health Center can be reached at: 303-492-5101.
For more information on how to prevent illness, visit the CU H1N1 Flu Information Web site at: www.colorado.edu/safety/h1n1
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Lindsay Mullineaux at Lindsay.mullineaux@Colorado.edu.