CORRECTED: College swine flu cases spread

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at 1:00am
Staff Reports


On Friday, the Vanderbilt Student Health Center was urging any student who has a temperature more than 100 degrees with a cough or sore throat to come in and be evaluated after the university confirmed 10 cases of H1N1, also called the swine flu, from more than 50 influenza sufferers.

Vanderbilt’s call for concern is now being duplicated at several Southeastern colleges, including the University of Alabama and Tulane University.

And two cases of the H1N1 virus were confirmed late last week at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Officials had warned that college campuses were ripe for the spreading of H1N1 and with classes underway, they are asking students who have flu-like symptoms to isolate themselves for a few days — professors will understand.

At the University of Alabama, up to 10 players have displayed flu-like symptoms and a few have been quarantined. The strain of flu that has hit the Crimson Tide has not been disclosed.

Duke, Texas Christian and Tulane are among the other programs that have been hit. According to the New York Times, 31 football players and six volleyball players at Tulane are believed to have the swine flu, which forced the football team to cancel its fan day.

These cases follow reports last week by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Georgia Tech had 100 suspected cases of flu in just one week on the Atlanta campus, with 12 of them confirmed as the highly contagious H1N1 virus.

Across the country, almost 8,000 people have been hospitalized and more than 520 have died from H1N1, also called the swine flu, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At last count (July 24), there were 311 confirmed cases in and at least two deaths in Tennessee, state health officials said. However, officials say the state is no longer tracking the number of cases because reported numbers are likely to be lower than the actual incidence of the virus.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported as fact a fictitious item about a campus bonfire event. The City Paper regrets the error.