Each of the probable cases have tested positive for Type A Influenza and show the symptoms of H1N1, according to a CU press release. More commonly known as swine flu, H1N1 is a strain of Type A Influenza. Since the beginning of the school year in August, 370 students have been documented for flu-like symptoms. Two students have been hospitalized, but both experienced a full recovery.
“This only reflects the number we are seeing in our clinic, we don’t want to project to our audience that every student has come to our office,” Hilliard said. “It’s very likely we have more than just the students who walk into (Wardenburg Health Center).”
Hilliard said many students are believed to have received off-campus treatment.
But recent numbers of weekly visits to the center show hope of an end in sight.
“We are seeing about 100 (students) per week,” said Dr. Pamela Talley, the lead clinic physician of Wardenburg Health Center. “That has plateaued…it appears we are no longer on an upscale projector (of students coming to the center).”
The numbers may have also relaxed due to the recent flu testing policy shift, designed to prevent an inundation of students swamping the center.
“We are no longer testing every student for Type A, only those with severe manifestations or high risk,” Talley said. “We want to be clear that any patient in a high risk category or comprised situation needs to seek help promptly.”
Such high risk conditions include: diabetes, asthma, pregnancy and weak immune systems, according to the press release.
Gary Chadwick, assistant vice chancellor for Health and Wellness also announced that vaccines for the H1N1 virus will be available by mid to late October. Wardenburg will then serve as the distribution site for the shots. Once available, students will be notified to receive the seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines through a campus-wide e-mail.
According to the press release, those not in need of immediate attention are asked to remain at home or self-isolate in the dorms for at least 24 hours. Wardenburg Health Center recommends treating Type A Influenza like any other flu with Tylenol, fluids and rest. Dorm residents who are sick are encouraged to wear surgical masks to reduce H1N1’s spread. Masks are available in the front desks of each residence hall.
Since Type A Influenza and H1N1 spread like the seasonal flu virus, Wardenburg officials recommend that students and staff take the following precautions to stay healthy: washing one’s hands with soapy water for 20 seconds or using sanitizing soap, covering one’s mouth and nose and avoiding close contact with those who are sick.
Contact CUIndependent Staff Writer Rose Heaphy at Rose.email@example.com.