Updated: 9:23 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, 2009 | Posted: 7:19 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009
UGA reports swine flu cases
By Shelia M. Poole
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
At least 20 University of Georgia students have been confirmed to have novel H1N1 since Aug. 14, a school spokeswoman said.
Liz Rachun said the students with the illness, widely known as swine flu, have been seen through the UGA Health Center.
“It’s definitely here at the University of Georgia,” she said. “These numbers are likely to escalate over the next few days.”
Rachun said sick students are being asked to return home, if possible, or to isolate themselves so they don’t infect others on campus. So far, she said, she doesn’t know of any students who have been hospitalized.
But Louis Kudon, a district epidemiologist, cautioned that UGA may have more confirmed cases because it is part of the U.S. Influenza Sentinel Providers Surveillance Network, which helps track influenza activity.
“It’s nothing for people to really panic about,” he said.
As swine flu continues to spread across Georgia, pediatricians are seeing an increase in children with flulike symptoms. Health and school officials are anticipating a rough flu season with the seasonal flu and swine flu circulating at the same time.
A staff member at Shoal Creek Elementary School in Conyers has been diagnosed with novel H1N1 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said a spokeswoman for the Rockdale County school system.
Rockdale County Public Schools spokeswoman Cindy Ball said the employee was hospitalized and is not a classroom teacher. She said officials are communicating with state health officials and following current CDC guidelines and recommendations.
On Monday, Cobb & Douglas Public Health officials reported two confirmed cases of this strain of H1N1 among Cobb students. And Georgia Tech is reporting 100 suspected cases of swine flu.
Although the flu is widespread in Georgia, most cases have apparently been mild or moderate.
A vaccine is not expected to be available until sometime in October.