First confirmed case of H1N1 flu at Kennesaw State University

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KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug. 26, 2009) — Campus health officials have received confirmation of…

Georgia (Aug 26, 2009)KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug. 26, 2009) — Campus health officials have received confirmation of Kennesaw State University’s first official diagnosis of H1N1 flu.

The student visited the KSU Health Clinic Aug. 20, presenting with typical flu-like symptoms, according to KSU Health Clinic Director Anne Nichols. A culture was taken during the office visit and sent to the Georgia Department of Community Health, which confirmed the diagnosis. Kennesaw State is part of the U.S. Influenza Sentinel Providers Surveillance Network, which helps track influenza activity. As a member of the sentinel providers network, KSU can send three cultures a week to the department of community health for H1N1 testing.
“The student has recovered and is back on campus,” Nichols said. “Last week, we advised the student to self-isolate, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.”
Symptoms of swine flu are a temperature of more than 100.4, and a cough or sore throat, according to Nichols. What separates H1N1 flu from the normal seasonal flu is the rapid onset of symptoms, Nichols said.
The CDC estimates that 40 percent of the nation’s population will become sick with H1N1 this flu season.
“We saw 100 patients yesterday, five with flu-like symptoms, whom we treated with antivirals, again following CDC guidelines,” Nichols said.
Though swine flu vaccines are not yet available – and when they are, there is a CDC-issued tiered distribution chart based on vulnerability – the health clinics now have regular flu vaccine available on a first-come, first-served basis for students, faculty and staff. The vaccine cost is $20.
“Traditional influenza hasn’t gone away,” Nichols said. “The single best preventative measure against the flu is washing your hands.”
In case of a severe flu outbreak, business continuity plans are being made across campus, according to KSU’s Assistant Vice President for Strategic Security and Safety Robert Lang.
“We will remain open,” Lang said. “We’re in the process of identifying essential functions, personnel and processes to keep the university open.”
The CDC recommends that universities tailor their responses to fit “the size, diversity, and mobility of their students, faculty and staff; their location and physical facilities; programs; and student and employee health services.”  
While directives may change as the flu season progresses, key recommendations from the CDC for the present level of H1N1 flu cases are as follows:

Recommendations for Residential Students

    • Students who are ill with H1N1 should “self-isolate”— i.e., severely curtail their interactions with others except to seek medical care — until at least 24 hours after they no longer display fever symptoms without the aid of fever-reducing medicine.
    • If possible, ill students should return home to recuperate and minimize the risk of infecting others if they live nearby and can do so without using public transportation.
    • Students who cannot return home should be isolated as much as possible.
 Recommendations for Commuter Students

    • Commuter students ill with H1N1 should practice self-isolation (whether at their own home or the home of a friend/relative) and not return to campus until they have recovered.
    • Commuter students who can utilize distance-learning methods may be able to continue studies even while ill. (This also applies to resident students.)
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education, business and nursing. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 22,500 from 142 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit