Oklahoma State University has had three of ten influenza cases from this month confirmed as the H1N1 virus, more commonly known as the swine flu. Steve Rogers, the Director of University Health Services at OSU, said that since all of the students reported similar symptoms, all cases were assumed to be swine flu.
“[Swine flu is] surprisingly mild and has a fairly rapid recovery,” Rogers said to The Oklahoman, a local newspaper, adding that people feeling ill should isolate themselves since more cases are expected.
According to The Daily O’Collegian, OSU’s student newspaper, the university created a plan to combat pandemic influenza four years ago.
“There’s not a lot that we can actually do other than educate and inform because the prevention is an individual act — it is doing things like washing your hands regularly, coughing into a tissue and then throwing the tissue away,” Rogers said.
The university has taken action to prevent further contamination. Health services and residential life have arranged a meal delivery service for students diagnosed with influenza.
“Our biggest concern is we don’t want anyone starving, but we also don’t want them having to go out and eat somewhere if they’re sick,” Director of Housing and Residential Life Matt Brown said to The Daily O’Collegian.
Affected students can receive exemption from classes, and according to Tulsa World, OSU also plans to give away hand sanitizer.
“We’re really trying to cover all the bases,” Rogers said to Tulsa World. “The only difference right now is that we’re doing it in August instead of October.”
According to the Associated Press, the federal government is recommending that sick students remain in isolation for at least 24 hours after their fevers are gone. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said college students are more susceptible to the swine flu than the regular flu.
“[Sick students] don’t need to be walking around to get meals; they don’t need to be walking around to pick up class notes,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said to the AP. “They can get a friend or roommate to help.”