Northwestern student diagnosed with swine flu

Kirsten Salyer

Posted May 14, 2:20 p.m. Updated 3:50 p.m.
A Northwestern undergraduate student was confirmed Wednesday evening to have H1N1 influenza, more commonly known as swine flu, health offices announced Thursday.

The student lives on campus, but returned home after feeling ill, according to a university press release. She will be required to remain at home until 24 hours after flu-like symptoms subside or seven days after the onset of the virus.

NU students received an e-mail Thursday afternoon notifying them of the case, and students living in the same residence as the infected student will receive additional information, said Al Cubbage, vice president for university relations.

“Those students living in the same residence are receiving notification specifically,” he said.

The university is monitoring the situation but does not plan to close, said Donald Misch, director of University Health Services.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities do not advise universities to close for cases of swine flu.

“The CDC is becoming less aggressive in dealing with the flu because it is becoming less severe,” he said.

The Center for Disease control is now treating the flu as a seasonal illness instead of an epidemic, Misch said.

Misch cited the health services Web site, which describes the symptoms of the flu and suggests ways to avoid the contact and spread of the disease.

Cubbage said he suggested members of the NU community follow the preventive measures listed on the health services Web site, which include washing hands often and avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth. Students feeling flu-like symptoms should consult health services to be tested.

“It is a matter of individual precaution,” Cubbage said. “All along we’ve been trying to keep the university community informed.”

While Misch reminded students to be conscious of maintaining good hygiene, he said there is little need for concern.

“It’s all over now,” he said. “It hasn’t been proven over, but it’s all over. There’s the question of ‘Oh my goodness, is it here?’ We all assumed it was. But now it’s over.”

More to come.[email protected]