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Washington and Lee University

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H1N1 Influenza at W&L

Total Case of Influenza Like Illness (ILI) — Fall 2009

Feb. 6 to Feb. 12
0 cases
Jan.31 to Feb. 5
0 cases
Jan. 23 to Jan. 30
1 case
Jan. 16 to Jan. 22
1 case
Jan. 9 to Jan. 15
1 case
Dec. 19 to Jan. 8
Dec. 12 to Dec. 18
0 cases
Dec. 5 to Dec. 11
0 cases
Nov. 28 to Dec. 4
1 case
Nov. 14 to Nov. 20
9 cases
Nov. 7 to Nov. 13
12 cases
Oct. 31 to Nov. 6
17 cases
Oct. 24 to Oct. 30
7 cases
Oct. 17 to Oct. 23
6 cases
Oct. 10 to Oct. 16 3 cases
Oct. 3 to Oct. 9 9 cases
Sept. 26 to Oct. 2 7 cases
Sept. 19 to Sept. 25 12 cases
Sept. 12 to Sept. 19 8 cases
Sept. 5 to Sept. 12 8 cases
Aug. 29 to Sept. 4
1 case
Total to Date 103 cases

Washington and Lee University had more than a dozen confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza, commonly known as "swine flu," during the 2009 spring term. All of the cases were mild, and those who were infected recovered. Campus officials anticipate that this type of influenza, which has continued to spread throughout the summer, is likely to be present on the campus during the 2009-10 academic year and has developed a series of plans to address the situation.

As new information is available, it will appear on this Web page, which will also be updated frequently with links to information about the flu from numerous sources including the Centers for Disease Control.

View Frequently Asked Questions

While cases of H1N1 influenza have been as mild as or milder than the seasonal flu, the virus poses significant health consequences, especially for members of at-risk groups, including those six months to 24 years old, pregnant women and those chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems.

W&L's Emergency Management Team (EMT) maintains plans to deal with a variety of emergency situations, including health emergencies. The existing plan for dealing with pandemic influenza has been modified specifically to address H1N1. This planning is based on the University's experience from last spring as well as recent recommendations from the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC.

Key components of the plan include:

  • An aggressive communications plan to alert members of the campus community to the threat of the H1N1 virus and to the recommended preventative measures;
  • A vaccination program to provide both seasonal flu vaccine and, once available, H1N1 vaccine to members of the University community;
  • Providing continuity of services for the campus community for the duration of any emergency that may develop;
  • Resumption of normal activities as soon as possible should the normal business of the University be disrupted.

Here are some of the steps that the University is currently taking:

  • W&L has pre-registered as an H1N1 flu vaccine administration site and hopes to have the H1N1 vaccine once it is available.
  • The University is strongly recommending that all students be vaccinated for both the seasonal flu and H1N1 influenza.
  • Hand sanitizer stations and informational posters about hand-washing, covering coughs, and sharing cups have been placed throughout the campus as a public health and education measure.
  • A series of informational brochures is being distributed with advice about staying healthy and what to do if you think you have the flu.
  • Employees are encouraged to contact their primary care provider about obtaining the H1N1 vaccination and to contact their healthcare provider if they become symptomatic.
  • Provisions have been made to diagnose, isolate, treat, feed and care for ill students on campus and to establish "flu buddies" who can assist ill students with meals, assignments, etc.
  • As was the case in the fall, classes, events and activities will continue as scheduled unless notified otherwise.
  • Students who become ill with flu while they are at home will be encouraged not to return to campus while symptomatic. Those on campus who become ill (fever greater than 100 degrees with a respiratory symptom) should call the Student Health Center (ext. 8401) for flu advice, and should stay in their residence (except to go to a health care provider's office) until at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever. Students may also choose to return home (by means of private transportation) for care until they have recovered from the flu and are no longer contagious.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes H1N1 flu symptoms:

The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

To reduce your risk of becoming infected:

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or elbow
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing or after touching commonly used shared surfaces
  • Refrain from sharing cups, food/drink or eating utensils
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick