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Sudden Outbreak of H1N1 flu at Washington State University

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Reports of a sudden and huge outbreak of H1N1 swine flu at Washington State University is reported by the college. According to health care personnel at the college, “it’s real”. H1N1 flu is believed to have affected 2000 students at Washington State University.

According to the CDC, H1N1 flu is not as severe as regular flu, but uncertainties remain about the potential for complications. H1N1 flu symptoms include fever, generalized aches and pains, fatigue, and respiratory symptoms including sore throat that can become severe in younger individuals, as seen historically.

The new outbreak at Washington State University is believed to have started August 21, during sorority and fraternity rush week. The sudden outbreak is an indication of how infectious H1N1 flu has become. So far, the cases reported have been mild.

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Students with fever are urged to stay out of classes. Treatments for H1N1 is rest, fluids, and take fever reducing medications, as advised by Washington State University student health services. Students with families nearby should consider returning home until fever subsides for twenty-four hours.

Washington State University freshman Ashley Dunn says it is difficult to contain H1N1 flu at the college because students are likely to miss out on important studies. "You feel like you have to keep going to class because you'll miss a lot”, she says. "Everyone's getting sick because everyone keeps going to class." The outbreak of H1N1 swine flu at Washington State University may be waning.

Officials at Washington State University continue to urge frequent hand washing, avoidance of face to face contact with anyone showing H1N1 swine flu (or other flu like) symptoms, and self-isolation to halt the spread of the disease. Not all students were tested for H1N1 swine flu. Dennis Garcia MD says after the first students at Washington State University tested positive for H1N1 swine flu, they assumed other students had swine flu, which is highly contagious, and has seemed to replace seasonal flu this year.

NY Times
Washington State University