October 6, 2009

The Virus is Spreading

Bad news. Wash your hands.

Of the 175 currently diagnosed cases of influenza on campus, two-thirds are H1N1.

I repeat, please wash your hands. often.
--- Forwarded Message from "Dr. Jack Turco, Director, Dartmouth College Health Service" ---

>From: "Dr. Jack Turco, Director, Dartmouth College Health Service"
>Date: Tue, 06 Oct 2009 13:40:17 EDT
>Subject: H1N1/seasonal flu update, Oct. 6, 2009
>To: All:;

As part of my regular updates to the Dartmouth community, I want to share with you additional information on what we know about Influenza-Like Illnesses (ILI) and H1N1 on campus. Presently, we have diagnosed approximately 175 students with ILI.

The clinical diagnosis is a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or greater and/or a cough or sore throat, as defined by the Center for Disease Control. In our role as a surveillance site for the state of New Hampshire, we are doing random swab testing for H1N1 so the state public health department can determine what percentage of patients who fulfill the clinical diagnosis of ILI actually have the H1N1 virus. This allows for the state to better monitor the prevalence of the virus. We are finding approximately two-thirds of the random tests are positive for H1N1, which means that at Dartmouth, like at other campuses across the country, we are experiencing an outbreak of illness caused by the H1N1 virus.

The majority of the students diagnosed with ILI have developed mild to moderate flu-like symptoms that last for a few days and fortunately no one has needed to be hospitalized. We are continuing to encourage all students diagnosed with ILI to voluntarily isolate themselves until they are free of a fever for at least 24 hours. We're also encouraging all members of our community to practice good hygiene during this time, which is an effective way of minimizing your chances of contracting viral illnesses including the H1N1 virus.

For more information about H1N1, watch the flu information page on Dartmouth's Emergency Preparedness web site, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~prepare/swineflu/

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