Suspected H1N1 outbreak strikes 2,000 students at Washington State

As university and college students return to school for another grueling semester, they are also being hit by a rise in flu cases.

At Washington State University’s Pullman campus, over 2,000 students have experienced flu-like symptoms due to a suspected H1N1 outbreak.

In an interview with the Associated Press last Tuesday, Paula Adams, a co-ordinator for WSU Health and Wellness Services said the outbreak can be attributed to the early school semester and dense living quarters. However, Adams added that “based on federal guidelines, WSU is assuming everyone who calls with flu-like symptoms has swine flu,” therefore not all cases are linked to H1N1.

WSU president Elson S. Floyd, also issued an email urging “people not to overreact to the reports of the H1N1 outbreak at WSU,” according to the Daily Evergreen, the WSU student newspaper.

WSU is not the only institution experiencing a spike in flu cases. The Washington Post reported that Cornell University has more than 520 cases and the University of Maryland has 435 flu-like illnesses.

While no major outbreaks have been reported at Canadian universities or colleges, an early influenza season means H1N1 could peak in October for both Canada and the U.S.

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