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Colorado State University H1N1 Cases jumped from 60 to more than 400 this week.

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  • Colorado State University H1N1 Cases jumped from 60 to more than 400 this week.

    H1N1 Cases Jump At CSU To 400
    More Than 500 Students Visited Health Center Wednesday

    Deb Stanley, 7NEWS Producer

    POSTED: 11:17 am MDT September 17, 2009
    UPDATED: 5:33 pm MDT September 17, 2009

    FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The number of confirmed or probable cases of H1N1 swine flu at CSU jumped from 60 to more than 400 this week.

    University officials said Hartshorn Health Center verified 45 cases of H1N1 infection on Wednesday alone, contributing to an estimated total of 215 active cases on campus, according to the Collegian, the student newspaper.

    "We're likely on the front end of this without knowing exactly where it will takes us," Anne Hudgens, dean of students, told the paper.

    Activity at Hartshorn Health Center has "increased dramatically," Hudgens said.

    She said 500 students showed up at the Hartshorn Health Center on campus just on Monday wondering whether they had swine flu. CSU student Amy Harr said her Music 100 class was canceled Thursday because her professor was sick with swine flu.

    The university is telling students with symptoms not to attend class or go to the health center except in the case of an emergency, citing a need to limit spreading the illness and the debilitating influx of patients to its clinic.

    The school launched a new online system last week to make it easier for students to self-report their illnesses and to avoid spreading germs. If the program confirms they have the flu symptoms, they'll be excused from class for up to 10 days.

    Despite all its precautions, CSU still anticipates a rough fall season. "The CDC has said we could expect as many as 30 percent of the [campus] population could get H1N1," Hudgens said.

  • #2
    Re: Colorado State University H1N1 Cases jumped from 60 to more than 400 this week.

    H1N1 suspected as school absences continue to spike

    By Bobby Magill ? September 21, 2009

    The number of H1N1 flu, or swine flu, cases may be rising at CSU and Fort Collins-area public schools, but hardly any cases have been confirmed.

    The Centers for Disease Control now considers swine flu to be spreading regionally in Colorado, but it is not widespread here. However, the surrounding states of New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma and Kansas are seeing widespread cases of the virus.

    Fort Collins High School reported a 14 percent absentee rate on Monday, up from 4 percent on Friday, mostly because of reports of flu-like symptoms, said Poudre School District spokeswoman Ellen Laubhan.

    Other high schools in the district reported no excessive absentee numbers, she said. All of the district?s middle and elementary schools were closed Monday because of a scheduled teacher workday.

    Neither Poudre School District nor CSU confirm suspected H1N1 flu cases because most students with flu-like symptoms are not tested for the virus unless they are hospitalized. Reported flu-like symptoms are treated as possible swine flu cases.

    CSU has tested only two students for H1N1 through a state-run laboratory, and one of those students tested positive for swine flu, said CSU spokeswoman Dell Rae Moellenberg.

    So far, that student has the only verified case of H1N1 on campus.

    Those students were tested only because they were hospitalized, she said.

    The university has also tested 28 students with a rapid test for the flu, and seven tested positive for Influenza A, a strain of flu of which H1N1 is a member. But, Moellenberg said, the test has a 70 percent false-negative error rate, so doctors can?t rely on that test.

    Positive tests are assumed to be ?possible? H1N1 cases, she said.

    Regardless of the accuracy of that test, there are hundreds of suspected cases of the virus on campus, she said.

    As of 1:30 p.m. Monday, CSU had 261 active cases of possible H1N1 flu, up from nearly 250 on Friday, she said.

    So far, 610 cases of possible swine flu have been reported on campus since Sept. 4.

    CSU students report flu-like symptoms online through the university?s RamWeb or on visits to Hartshorn Health Center.

    But, because students aren?t actually tested for swine flu, none of the cases reported on RamWeb are verified, Moellenberg said.

    ?Because the vast majority of circulating influenza at this time is H1N1, Hartshorn personnel assume that flu-like illnesses are probably H1N1,? she said.

    According to the CDC, nearly all flu cases reported nationwide are H1N1.

    Despite the spread of suspected flu across the CSU campus, the university has no plans to cancel classes.

    ?H1N1 may impact more people than the typical seasonal flu, but the illnesses are typically not severe,? Moellenberg said. ?While the flu may spread enough on campus to cause high levels of absenteeism, no extraordinary measures are planned as part of a university response at this time.?