H1N1 Update for 10/02/09
October 02, 2009
Greetings from Wellness Services.
The H1N1 flu situation is a moving target. We have been tracking the number of students who have been identified by the Student Health Service as having flu-like-illness, though, we have not routinely reported these numbers to the Lewis & Clark community. The primary reason for this is the number of presumed cases changes nearly daily. Issues and questions raised by the inaccurate H1N1 statistics listed on the Pioneer Log’s humor page (the Backdoor) last week, have prompted us to provide some numbers in context of the situation as of Tuesday, 9/29/09.
The CDC and state health authorities are only testing for the novel H1N1 virus in people with severe cases, such as those who have been hospitalized. Currently, H1N1 is the predominant strain of flu viruses circulating in the US. Therefore, when individuals experience flu-like symptoms, it is presumed to be H1N1, and they are asked to self-isolate for a period of at least 24 hours after the fever is gone. If symptoms worsen, individuals should seek medical attention immediately.
The cases we are tracking are only those that have come through the Student Health Services. We do not know the number of cases of flu-like illness among employees or students who may have chosen to seek medical advice off-campus, or are self-isolating on their own.
From the beginning of the fall semester through Tuesday, 9/29/09 the Student Health Service has identified 45 cases of influenza-like-illness presumed to be H1N1 among the student population. All of these students experienced mild cases of the disease and have either recovered or are in the recovery process. Since the duration of the illness is relatively short so far (3-5 days), typically there are only 3-6 students isolating at any given time.
Again, there have been no hospitalizations and no deaths among Lewis & Clark students due to the novel H1N1 virus. The Student Health Service continues to serve a handful of students each week who have flu-like symptoms, presumably H1N1. We also continue monitor the situation and work closely with national and local health authorities to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our community healthy.
For more information, or questions, please contact the Health Promotion and Wellness Office at 503-768-7112, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Melissa Osmond, MPH, CHES
Associate Director for Health Promotion