Colleges on Alert for H1N1
By Heather Brady
Mary Washington has confirmed one case of swine flu in a student, and three other students are being treated as possible cases by the University’s Health Center as of Aug. 28, according to a campus-wide email from the Office of Public Safety and Community sent the same day.
This comes at a time when many other college campuses are experiencing similar occurrences. According to an article released in June on insidehighered.com, many universities in the U.S. have had cases of the swine flu appear over the summer, ranging in numbers from one to five students per university.
The number of students that contracted the virus over the summer is unusual, according to the article, since strains of the flu virus aren’t typically widespread in the summer.
More than a dozen students at Washington and Lee University in Lexington contracted the virus last spring, and the University of Richmond has confirmed four cases of students contracting the flu so far this semester.
Another article on the website details recommendations that the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services have made to institutions of higher education.
Most of the recommendations focus on the idea of ill students self-isolating, and mention some of the same preventative measures that were emphasized by the Mary Washington administration, as well as by the U.S. Center for Disease Control, for the community at large.
The University has distributed hand sanitizers to common public areas on campus, according to the Office of Public Safety and Community’s email message, and highly encourages students to buy their own hand sanitizer for personal use as well. Vaccines for the swine flu will be available in October on campus, along with vaccines for other seasonal flu strains.