Explosive spread of pandemic flu on college campuses

Although there were a few, isolated cases of infection with the new H1N1 virus on college campuses last Spring, the pandemic is now raging on campuses across the country.


Almost three-quarters (73%) of American colleges and universities are reporting cases of influenza-like illnesses among students, with the highest rates in the Southeast and Midwest, the American College Health Association says.

There were 4,045 new flu-like illness cases between Aug. 29 and Sept. 4 among 204 schools taking part in voluntary reporting, the new data show.

One college student, Andrew Salter, has already died. He was a Freshman living in Alumni Hall at Troy University in Alabama. Classes started at Troy University on August 10, 2009. He died on September 4, 2009.

From WFSA 12 News:

The family confirms Andrew had no underlying medical issues. He was diagnosed with Swine flu last week and actually got better one day, but took a turn for the worse on Friday when he passed away from pneumonia at the Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan.

Mr. Salter’s death illustrates that young, healthy adults can die as a result of infection with the new H1N1.

College students are typically between the ages of 18 and 22. According to a leaked CDC Director’s brief, the case fatality rate for 5 – 24 year olds is 0.22%. Approximately 17,500,000 people are enrolled in College this year.  Assuming a clinical attack rate of 30%, 5,250,000 College students will become ill with the new H1N1. Of these, 11,550 are expected to die, using the leaked CDC numbers.

Is there something you would like to say to College students and their parents, Director Frieden?


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