H1N1 Case Confirmed At Washington And Lee

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State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, M.D., MBA, announced today that one of the two probable new influenza A (H1N1) virus infections announced yesterday at Washington and Lee University in Lexington has been confirmed as influenza A (H1N1).

“The student continues to recover well and this announcement simply confirms our suspicion that this was an actual case of the new influenza A virus,” said Dr. Remley. “This confirmation does not change the risks to those on campus, but it does reemphasize that everyone should follow good infection control practices, including avoiding others if you sick with flu symptoms.”

Confirmation has not been received on the second W&L probable influenza A (H1N1) case.

Dr. Remley said the state would continue to work closely with W&L to ensure that all appropriate measures are taken to protect this academic community.

The current H1N1 influenza outbreak is caused by an influenza A virus not previously detected in humans or animals. Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu and typically include fever, cough and sore throat. Additional symptoms may include headache, chills, fatigue and body aches. Persons with H1N1 influenza are contagious for up to seven days after the onset of illness and possibly longer if they are still symptomatic.

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Dr. Remley advised anyone with these symptoms to protect themselves and their fellow students by:

* Staying home from work or school and limiting their contact with others to keep from infecting them.

* Calling the Student Health Center or their health care providers before seeking care so that the necessary infection control measures can be put in place.

* Covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and throwing the tissue in the trash after use.

* Washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.

* Limiting close contact with sick people

* Preventing the spread of germs by not touching eyes, nose or mouth

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