Colby-Sawyer College Reports Three Confirmed Cases of Flu on Campus
NEW LONDON, N.H., Sept. 19, 2009 - Colby-Sawyer College reports that three cases of the H1N1 virus have been confirmed on its New London, N.H., campus by the New Hampshire Department of Health Services (DHHS). As predicted by the Centers for Disease Control, the college has seen a rise in the incidence of flu-like illness, with approximately 48 students and employees reporting symptoms since the beginning of the fall semester.
Most of the reported cases of flu-like illness on campus have been relatively mild and no one has required hospitalization, according to Pamela Spear, the director of the college's Baird Health and Counseling Center. The most commonly reported symptoms have been fever, fatigue, body aches, cough and sore throat, with some vomiting and dizziness. Most students have had mild cases and the fever resolves within two to three days, she said.
Colby-Sawyer has been working closely with the DHHS in monitoring the situation on campus and educating the college community about ways to prevent and minimize the spread of infection.
Our community members have done a good job of following our recommendations for frequent hand-washing and social distancing, which I believe has been effective in minimizing the spread of infection on campus, Spear said. We haven't had to cancel classes or athletic events or any other activities.
Students who experience flu symptoms are advised not to attend classes and to go home to recover, when possible. Those who cannot go home are advised not to attend class or go to other public spaces, and to practice self-isolation to the extent possible. The recovery period is specified as 24 hours after a fever resolves without the use of an antipyretic (fever reducing medication).
Due to the higher than usual level of flu-like illnesses, Colby-Sawyer's health center reported the incidences to the DHHS and voluntarily submitted virus samples for testing. The DHHS confirmed on Friday afternoon that the samples contained the H1N1 virus. The DHHS has not recommended further testing at this time, according to Spear.
The week of September 14 began with an influx of people with flu symptoms at the campus health center, but the numbers tapered off at by the end of the week, she said. The H1N1 symptoms have manifested themselves much the same as seasonal influenza, and the prevention and treatment methods are also the same. Fortunately, those who tested positive for the H1N1 virus are already feeling better and their fever has resolved. We are hopeful, based on the last couple of days, that the flu will continue its downward trend at Colby-Sawyer.
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