We continue to see moderate amounts of influenza-like illness (fever >100 F with cough and/or sore throat absent a competing diagnosis) on campus, identifying an average of 6 cases per day over the month of October thus far. Of these, we estimate that one quarter to one third have H1N1. Many of these students have recovered within a few days and the sickest have recovered within a week, although some remain achy and fatigued for a few days after the cough and fever resolve. We have had two cases of secondary pneumonia, but no other known complications and no hospitalizations.
It is important to remember that per CDC and Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) guidelines, we are not testing for H1N1. With the support of the CT DPH we did run several H1N1 tests earlier in the semester on high-probability students. These came back positive, confirming that we do have H1N1 on campus. We treat all students with influenza-like illness as if they have H1N1.
Treatment for H1N1 comprises isolation, symptomatic care, prescription of anti-viral medications for patients at high risk of complication, and further medical evaluation for those warranting it. Per CDC and CT DPH guidelines, we are doing as much of this diagnosis over the phone as possible. This limits spread of infection by keeping sick people away from well people.
We also continue to see students with other illnesses, many of them viral, as well as other conditions for which a period of recuperation (possibly to include time off from classes, sports, etc.) is prudent.
We are working closely with state and local officials in charge of distributing H1N1 vaccine. We do not yet have vaccine on campus. Once it is available to us we will communicate our distribution plan to the campus community. People, especially those at high risk of complications from influenza, who have access to the vaccine from other sources should avail themselves of the opportunity to be vaccinated. We continue to strongly urge vaccination against seasonal flu.
We have been advised that on Thursday, October 29, 2009, there will be an H1N1 vaccine clinic at the Middletown Town Hall. This clinic is by appointment only and will offer the nasal mist vaccine to individuals aged 2-24 in good health. Supply is limited. To make an appointment for vaccination, call (860) 344-3474.
We have no more campus-wide seasonal flu vaccine clinics scheduled. We did vaccinate 908 students and 524 faculty/staff during the clinics we ran. Local pharmacies do have a supply of seasonal flu vaccine for those who missed our clinics.
Our call volume has been very high. So that we can sustain the high level and quality of service on which we pride ourselves, we urge students to use consideration with regard to timing of calls. We are best staffed between 9 and 4 on weekdays. We always have a doctor on call for true emergencies. Students whose main concern is a fever or flu-like symptoms and whose fevers can be controlled with fever-reducing medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are asked to consider waiting until morning to advise us of their status.
Questions may be addressed to:
Joyce Walter, Director, Davison Health Center firstname.lastname@example.org
Davis Smith, Medical Director, Davison Health Center email@example.com