Public Health

Swine Flu On Campus Turns Deadly

The first two deaths from the swine flu virus on college campuses were reported this week by an organization tracking the virus at schools around the country.

Chart of college flu cases shows a drop in mid-November.

hide captionClick on image to see full-size chart.

AHCA

But the week that ended Nov. 13 also showed a drop in the number of cases of H1N1 swine flu virus reported to the American College Health Association, from 29 cases per 10,000 students to 21.3. Still, the two deaths reported to the organization were the first since they began tracking the virus.

"Though pandemic flu remains generally mild among college students, these two deaths are harsh reminders of the rare but tragic consequences of influenza," Dr. James Turner, president of the ACHA, said.

At least four other college students have died from the flu or complications from the flu, according to news accounts. The two reported this week were just the first tracked by this representative system.

In September, there were four flu-related deaths, according to Inside Higher Ed. The first two were a freshman at Troy University and a continuing student at the University of Nebraska. On Sept. 11 a student at Cornell died from complications due to the flu. In late Sept. the flu took another victim, a freshman at Miami University in Ohio.

More campuses are receiving the H1N1 vaccine. However, Turner points out that the institutions who are receiving vaccine have only received small amounts. Cases dropped in all parts of the country except for Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey and the District of Columbia.

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