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UPDATE: 26 Reported Swine Flu Cases at UVa. and Growing

By: Matt Holmes Email
By: Matt Holmes Email

September 1, 2009

As of 3:30 pm Tuesday, health officials at the University of Virginia have seen 26 cases of the swine flu so far during the fall semester. Eleven of those cases have been reported in the past four days. Two of those cases happened on Tuesday.

At least one of the students infected is a first year.

Students and professors are taking precautions to make sure they're not the next to catch the bug.

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August 28, 2009

As of 4:00 p.m. Friday, health officials at the University of Virginia have seen ten cases of the swine flu so far during the fall semester. Four of those were presented Thursday alone. At least one of the students infected is a first year.

Students and professors are taking precautions to make sure they're not the next to catch the bug.

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Thursday August 27, 2009

Numbers were even higher during the summer. According to UVa Student Health, 64 students were infected with H1N1 at the end of last year and during summer school, from May 4 through August 22.

"Judging from what's going on nationwide, I'm sure we're going to have a pretty significant outbreak," says James C. Turner, M.D., the Executive Director of UVa's Department of Student Health.

Turner says to keep things from getting worse, university leaders are working to get sick students into quarantine.

"We're asking them to self-isolate in their dorm room if they can't go home. If they can go home, we'd like them to go home," says Turner.

Students say they're not going to wait around and take chances with the flu and neither are their professors.

"This year, one of my professors addressed the issue in class, telling students just, you know, don't come. If you feel sick, do us all a favor," says fourth year Charles Dyer.

Fellow fourth year Jenny Smith adds, "I've been more conscious. You know, you wash your hands, you cough into your sleeve and I think it's the simple things that are going to help us in the long run."

While students engage in some of the social traditions of college, they say they're doing it with the flu in mind.

"I think the thing that I always think about is beer pong," says Dyer. "People are reusing the same cups. That probably sounds like the worst thing to do in a pandemic."

Health officials say, while they're ready to take every necessary precaution to keep students healthy, they're not worried about the severity of an outbreak at UVa.

"They're going to get through this just fine," says Turner. "It's not a serious disease, it's a minor disease. They're going to feel miserable for a couple of days and then hopefully recover uneventfully."

Turner adds he's expecting a big shipment of swine flu vaccine in mid-October. At that point, he says they'll try and vaccinate as many students as possible.

A presidential panel earlier this week predicted that as many as 90,000 Americans could die as a result of the swine flu this fall.


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