Four swine flu cases confirmed in Delaware

1:10 p.m., April 30, 2009----Delaware's Division of Public Health (DPH) received confirmation Thursday that four University of Delaware students tested positive for swine flu by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, six more probable cases involving UD students were identified Thursday morning, and those samples forwarded to CDC. This brings the current numbers to four positive for swine flu and 12 probable.

The four students now confirmed, who had been reported as probable cases Tuesday, continue to recover from the mild flu symptoms after having been provided anti-viral medications and recovery instructions earlier in the week, consistent with Centers for Disease Control guidelines. It is believed that three of the students remained in Newark and one has gone home.

As a precautionary measure, Public Health and UD officials have been treating all cases with flu-like symptoms as potential swine flu. As such, there is no change in the recommended assessment and treatment regimen for students presenting flu-like symptoms.

With confirmation from CDC that swine flu is present in the community, routine testing of UD students is no longer required and all flu-like symptoms will be treated as potential swine flu.

From Wednesday morning through Thursday morning, approximately 400 students were treated for flu-like symptoms at the University's health center or a temporary health clinic opened Wednesday on campus by the Division of Public Health. All symptoms seen so far have been considered mild by health officials.

UD community members continue to be encouraged to take simple prevention measures such as covering coughs and sneezes with tissues and washing hands often. Anyone who feels ill is advised to see a health professional and stay home from work or school.

UD students who have flu-like symptoms should go to the on-campus Student Health Center, which is open 24 hours a day, or the temporary Public Health clinic on the UD campus, which reopened Thursday morning at 10 a.m. UD employees with medical questions or who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should contact their personal physicians.

According to the CDC, symptoms for swine flu are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include some combination of:

  • Fever, greater than 100 degrees F,
  • Sore throat,
  • Cough,
  • Stuffy nose,
  • Chills,
  • Headache,
  • Body aches and/or
  • Fatigue.

Delaware residents who are experiencing any of these symptoms should seek care from their personal physicians.

To prevent the spread of swine flu, the CDC suggests:

  • Avoid contact with ill persons.
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (if you do not have a tissue). Throw used tissues in a trash can.
  • After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel.
  • If you think you are ill with flu, avoid close contact with others as much as possible. Stay at home. Seek medical care if you are severely ill, such as having trouble breathing.

The DPH toll-free Swine Flu Call Center phone line continues to operate Thursday from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. at 1-866-408-1899 for questions from Delaware residents.