Healthy college-age students should recover from H1N1 without anti-viral drugs
Health officials are expecting mild cases of the H1N1 virus, so most healthy, young people won’t need anti-viral medications to fight the flu. On campus, students with flu-like symptoms won’t get a confirmation test unless they’re hospitalized, or have a complicated bout of illness. Instead, college health officials are offering common sense advice to combat swine flu.
At Rutgers University in Camden, officials are reminding students to avoid their eyes, nose and mouth after touching high traffic surfaces like door knobs and desks. Dean of Students Mary Beth Daisey says students were greeted with bleach wipes and information on proper hand washing when they arrived on campus.
Daisey: During the move in we gave them all those kinds of things, hand-sanitizers, etcetera. But not a separate quarantine space, not closing a resident hall or opening up a hotel, or trailer parks, we don’t have any of those things.
She says students with flu-like illness should check-in with student health, then stay home from class, rest and drink plenty of liquids. Officials are also encouraging college-age students to get the swine flu vaccine when it’s available in October.
Mark Denys leads student health services at Temple University. He says CDC officials want to use anti-viral medication judiciously.
Denys: They really want to try and single-out those most at risk, those with other chronic medical conditions, diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, women who are pregnant. But for the most part a healthy 20-year-old: Stay hydrated, take Tylenol, Motrin to keep the fever down, really try to self-isolate, get as much rest as possible.
Marcia Nickle is an emergency preparedness coordinator at the University of Delaware.
Nickle: Something that will be different from our outbreak in the spring, is that, unless you have a compromising medical condition, otherwise healthy college-age students will not be getting anti-viral medication. In the spring we treated anybody that had H1N1 symptoms with Tamiflu, we will not be doing that in the fall.