Monday, October 5, 2009

Number of flu-like cases on campus rises to 260

Birgitt Boschitsch :: Contributing Photographer

At the Council of the Princeton University Community meeting this evening, University Health Services executive director John Kolligian said there was a total of 260 on-campus cases of influenza-like illness. On Sept. 24, the total count was 80 students, many of whom have since recovered.

The World Health Organization reported that, as of Sept. 27, there were 340,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of novel H1N1 and over 4,100 deaths worldwide. Of those deaths, 3,020 were reported in North and South America.

Wilson School professor Anne Andermann said in an e-mail to her Global Health Program epidemiology class that the number of H1N1 cases was an underestimate because many countries are no longer counting mild cases.

"This was only the first wave, previous influenza pandemics have resulted in 4-20 million deaths worldwide. In the United States alone, the cumulative number of infections thus far was estimated to be at least 1 million," Andermann wrote.

She advised her students to get vaccinated, wash their hands often with soap and water, and self-isolate if applicable. She reassured students that she would work to make sure that those who miss class are able to keep up with the material.

In one survey conducted by Andermann's class, 29.7 percent of the 37-student sampling said they were "very likely" to self-isolate if they were experiencing flu-like symptoms. Sixty-two percent answered "maybe," and 8.1 percent said they were "not likely" to self-isolate.

When asked to elaborate on why they would not self-isolate, 56.7 percent of the students said they were worried about missing class. Another 40 percent said they would not self-isolate because "I'm unsure if I actually have it."

Seventy-eight percent of the students said they would be "very likely" to take the H1N1 vaccine if it were offered, 18.9 percent said "maybe," and 2.7 percent said they would not get the vaccination.

University spokeswoman Emily Aronson explained last week that information regarding distribution of the H1N1 vaccine was not available.

"The CDC and state are regulating the vaccine distribution process across the state, and we are waiting on further information from the CDC and state about distribution timing and details," Aronson said.

At the meeting this afternoon, Kolligian said small quantities of the H1N1 vaccines are scheduled to arrive in the next few weeks.

--- Tasnim Shamma


Anonymous said...

ok, i realize this is a blog post and therefore not subject to the same guidelines and editing process, but really?... this entire article is quoting one class's study, which only involved 37 people...