Fairfield University responds to latest H1N1 report


Fairfield University officials received notification today from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that the first two students identified last week as "probable" for the H1N1 flu have tested positive for the H1N1 flu.

Mark C. Reed, Vice President for Administrative and Student Affairs, informed the university community that "both students have fully recovered from what was a relatively mild illness. They have been seen by our medical staff and have been cleared to return to normal activity."

The Student Health Center also reported that presentations for flu-like symptoms had dropped off dramatically since last Tuesday and those infected have fully recovered. The Fairfield cases were well-contained and, consistent with national trends, were relatively mild.

Since the first case presented itself, Fairfield University has been in daily contact with officials from both the Town of Fairfield Health Department and the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health. In line with these consultations and the published guidelines, Fairfield University's approach to the H1N1 flu remains the same: All activities and operations of the University are open and will go on uninterrupted. Students are taking their final examinations this week. Next week is Senior Week with Commencement ceremonies taking place on Sunday, May 17. Meanwhile, Reed said the university will continue to monitor the situation closely and keep the University community informed of any changes.

Reed said, "As always, if anyone is experiencing any illness with flu-like symptoms, they should go to the Health Center. We encourage everyone to take proactive measures both here and at home. This includes washing hands, avoiding contact with those who are ill, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and remembering to cough or sneeze into the arm or a tissue, not the hands." He said Fairfield University personnel will continue to follow recommended steps to clean campus facilities and maintain soap and hand-sanitizer dispensers.

Reed extended his appreciation to the officials from the Town of Fairfield Health Department and the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health "for the collaborative work and professionalism they provided throughout this matter." He also thanked the Director of Fairfield University's Health Center, Gary Nelson and his staff. "The expert care, advice, and treatment they have provided to our students and community throughout this process have been exemplary."

Fairfield University has been posting regular updates on its website and has issued several emails to the University community to keep them abreast of developments and to provide helpful precautionary tips.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 5, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 330