Colleges around the country are back in session and we are starting to see an up-tick in Swine Flu cases:
More than half of the nation’s colleges and universities tracking swine flu cases are reporting infected students, with more than 1,600 cases within the first weeks of classes, a medical group said Wednesday.
The American College Health Association, in the first of what will be weekly reports on swine flu activity, said 55 percent of 165 institutions surveyed counted a total of 1,640 cases as of the week of Aug. 22-28. So far, one student has been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported, the group said.
The 165 institutions represent more than 2 million students.
Unlike the seasonal flu, which tends to strike the elderly, the swine flu, also known as H1N1, more commonly affects children and young adults. The virus causes relatively mild illness in most of those infected, but because it is new, most people have no immunity against it. As a result, officials said many more people could get the flu this year.
The virus emerged in the spring and quickly moved to the United States and other countries. It continued to spread through the summer in the United States, but officials have been expecting an increase in cases as students return to school.
“Fortunately, it appears that at this early stage the illness remains relatively mild among college students,” said James C. Turner, the health association’s president and executive director of the Department of Student Health at the University of Virginia.
This is probably only the start of what we’ll see as September goes on. Be prepared for the needless panic.