Reported cases of influenza-like flu increase on campus, vaccinations up

By Yenee Soh

There have been 40 incidents of “influenza-like illness” reported to the college so far this season that required medical treatment-a relatively low level. There is no explicit testing for H1N1 unless a student is severely ill or hospitalized, but if a person comes down with an ILI, it is assumed by most clinics to be H1N1.According to Denise Ward, the director at the Health and Wellness Center, there had been approximately 40 cases of ILI from students, faculty and staff that required medical treatment and are reported. The number of reported ILIs has increased in the past week, which is consistent with what is reported statewide.

Ward also said 250 to 275 students have received seasonal flu vaccinations. The more people vaccinated, Ward said, the more fully protected the Macalester community is. The most important factor in controlling the spread of the virus, Ward said, is the degree to which the campus takes preventative measures such as hand washing and disinfecting personal items and work.

Symptoms such as increased fever, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, rapid or labored breathing, and difficulty swallowing are indications that the ill person should seek immediate medical assistance. For those more interested or concerned, the Health Services has created a web site with influenza information. The Web site provides information on how to prevent the virus and what action to take once an individual becomes ill.