September 4, 2009

2,000 cases of swine flu in opening week of fall term

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School starts early at Washington State University in Pullman, WA, and so did the swine flu season. About 2,000 people in the small university town have become ill with the flu, almost as soon as the university opened for the fall term last week, the Seattle Times reported Friday.

“Officials halted testing after additional probable cases flooded in, but Martin said that based on the initial test results, 98 percent of the people who reported flu-like symptoms probably are infected with H1N1. Health officials ruled out seasonal flu because it typically doesn’t strike until winter. Also, most of those sickened have been young people, not the elderly and very young children who account for most seasonal flu cases.

The good news is that most became only mildly ill. Two people were hospitalized and have been released. The bad news: expect more of the same as more colleges and schools open for fall term.

— Rita Hibbard

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