H1N1 confirmed in six students

To: The Bates Community
From: Christy Tisdale, director of health services, and Tedd Goundie, dean of students
Date: Oct. 8, 2009

Dear Members of the Bates Community,

Today, Oct. 8, we received our first confirmed positive results from student cultures tested for H1N1.  We have seen a recent wave of students exhibiting symptoms of influenza-like illness (ILI), and today six cases were confirmed to be H1N1.  After three or more confirmed cases the CDC will no longer test cultures, so going forward any student exhibiting ILI will be presumed to have H1N1.

For the entire semester, we have seen 21 students who meet the medical criteria for ILI.  Currently two students are isolated in College-owned housing, nine students are recovering at home, and the rest are fully recovered and back in classes.  There have been no complications and all students have recovered within three to six days.

We will continue for the time being to follow our protocol of sending home students with ILI who live within reasonable driving distance, and isolating students who live far away in our designated isolation spaces.  However, we anticipate that very soon we will reach capacity in our isolation spaces, and that we will then move to having these students self-isolate in their residence hall rooms as outlined in our last message to the community dated Sept. 24, 2009.

We urge everyone to continue to practice sound hygiene habits to slow the spread of the virus.  We will continue to update the community as warranted, and will alert everyone when vaccines become available.

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