Swine Flu at the University of Arizona

Cute pigs who CANNOT give you the Swine Flu
Cute pigs who CANNOT give you the Swine Flu

They aren’t really broadcasting this at UA, but according to my UA-student daughter, a number of people are out sick with the flu in Wildcat town, some of them with H1NI.

Clare, who began running a high fever last night and started feeling sick “all over,” called UA Campus Health Services this a.m. to get an appointment so she could get a doctors note that would allow her to miss classes (some professors require this). She was told she couldn’t come in because Health Services is trying to reduce the number of people exposed to the flu. This is probably part of UA’s pandemic plan some of which is based on the CDC’s recommendations for universities in dealing with H1N1.

A nurse administered a health survey to Clare over the phone and pronounced her sick with the flu, then gave her a lecture about how “contagious and viscous this strain is” without saying it was swine flu. She prescribed some medicine to reduce the symptoms, especially the massive headache, then explained how Campus Health Services sent off samples (of body fluids, I’m guessing) from people early in the semester who came in sick and “they tested positive for H1N1.”

Students are supposed to stay away from classes until they are free of fever for 24 hours without the use of Tylenol, which, Clare said the nurse said, could be anywhere from three to seven days from the onset of symptoms. I’m wondering if the overall GPA of the UA will be down considerably this semester from students not being able to keep up with work when they are missing so many days of school. Clare says she’ll be able to keep up with things by viewing class lectures online – once her head stops pounding.

Backtracking to try to figure out where Clare may have picked up the germ is difficult: it could have been anywhere in town. But she said someone in her French class was coughing last week, as was someone in the choir she sings with. Upwards of 30 people were exposed by those two people when Clare was exposed – not counting all the other people they exposed in their other classes at UA. Clare started feeling sick yesterday, in the Dallas airport, so she exposed everyone on the plane as she flew back to Tucson, although she said she tried to hold her breath as much as possible for the whole flight. Of course, she has two roommates who will be exposed, and they will continue to go to classes until they feel sick, by which time they may have exposed more people. And thus the flu virus – H1N1 or the “regular” – travels on.

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3 thoughts on “Swine Flu at the University of Arizona

  1. Technically, professors and instructors are not allowed to require a doctor’s note in order to excuse students from class if they claim to have the flu.  Meredith Hay sent out an e-mail to that effect, requesting that teachers make an exception to their attendance policy for the H1N1.  I don’t know about other teachers, but I certainly don’t want sick people in my class, so I tell them to STAY HOME and get better and we can work out a way for them to make up the work later.

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