Sep 272009
 
Authors: Madeline Novey

Health officials confirmed that more than 800 students and more than 30 university employees had self-reported H1N1 symptoms, using either the self-reporting Web site or physically to CSU’s Health Network.

The 845 students who have reported flu-like symptoms, a total recorded since the self-reporting flu function was activated on RAMweb Sept. 4, includes students who have reported themselves sick and are now recovered. As of Thursday evening, 323 had self-reported themselves ill.

More than 170 possible cases of H1N1 — cases are not verified because the Centers for Disease Control says anyone with influenza likely has H1N1, because 99 percent of flu-like illnesses test positive for the virus — were reported directly to Hartshorn Health Center, CSU spokesperson Dell Rae Moellenberg said in an e-mail to the Collegian. Of these cases, 12 were CSU athletes, though CSU Health Network officials said they have not seen any athletes for flu-like symptoms for more than a week.

“There is likely overlap between students going to Hartshorn and students self-reporting,” Moellenberg said, meaning that current case totals are not 100 percent accurate.

No students have been hospitalized with H1N1 to-date, as far as the university is aware, she said in the same e-mail.

The university has requested about 24,000 doses of H1N1 vaccinations from the CDC when the first round of doses is scheduled for tentative release in mid to late October. CSU Health Network officials have heard that they could receive a few vaccinations in early October and that the rest will be shipped weekly over the coming months.

Though Larimer County is allowing clinics to charge for H1N1 vaccination, Higgins said CSU is not charging for what the university says is a “needed service” and university health officials are “going to donate the time” to provide it.

Vaccine estimates were made based on the high priority groups –/defined by the CDC – on campus, a CSU Health Network physician Jane Higgins said. People in the high priority group include:

People 2 to 24 years old

People caring for newborns 6 months old or younger

Pregnant women

People up to 65 years old with lifelong illness, and

Anyone with cancer, deficient immune systems or respiratory conditions.

Higgins said it is unknown how many doses the Health Network will actually receive, but that many of the first vaccinations will be given to approximately 50 health care workers, pregnant women and anyone reporting the illness.

“I would encourage anyone in the priority groups to come in, regardless of their illness history this fall, this spring, etc.,” she said, later adding, “People still think the message is ‘don’t come see us.'”

This is not the case, Higgins said. She encouraged that anyone with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and those who are pregnant or experiencing severe symptoms, should see a doctor or visit Hartshorn Health Center.

Larimer County is planning to open several vaccination clinics in anticipation of the 150,000 people that need the H1N1 vaccination, according to its own estimates, Larimer County Department of Health and Environment spokesperson Jane Viste said.

County officials are still unsure when the vaccine will be available, though they approximate it will be released in mid to late October.

Though officials have not determined the locations of all the clinics at this time, Viste said they would be scattered “down in the Front Range” throughout Fort Collins and Loveland, with the largest opening at The Budweiser Events Center, located at The Ranch in Loveland.

No clinics would be opened in mountain areas like Red Feather Lakes.

Viste said the County is estimating it will receive 45,000 doses of the vaccination in the first round from the CDC and that these will be available first to people in the high-priority groups. People visiting the clinics will have to go through a short screening process to determine if they are eligible for the first round of vaccines, Viste said.

The vaccination — which will likely be administered in one shot to adults –/is free to all people at county clinics.

The clinics will employ up to 100 qualified health workers and the county is looking for additional volunteers to help administer the vaccines. Those with experience who are interested should contact the Health District of Northern Larimer County, which is overseeing volunteer efforts. To help, visit http://healthdistrict.org or call (970) 224-5209.

News Managing Editor Madeline Novey can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.