June 19, 2009

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LEWISBURG, Pa. – A Bucknell University graduate student living off campus in Lewisburg has tested positive for a type A influenza virus. The student has been treated and is recovering in isolation at home off campus.

According to newly established protocols developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, type A influenza is presumed to be the H1N1 virus (swine flu) and is treated accordingly.

"We are following all the latest protocols. The student has been isolated and is expected to have a full recovery,” said Don Stechschulte, director of Student Health Services at Bucknell. "This illness is not as virulent as originally thought and there is no immediate danger to the local community."

Health officials
Health officials are contacting others who may have been in close contact with the student, who became ill after traveling to Michigan and North Carolina this past week. The student developed flu symptoms a day before returning to Lewisburg on Wednesday. He was treated Friday at the Student Health Center on campus and advised to stay in his home until his recovery is complete.

Since the worldwide outbreak of swine flu began earlier this year, Bucknell has been working closely with local, state and federal officials to monitor the spread of influenza A H1N1, commonly known as the swine flu, and to provide updated information as necessary to the campus community. This is the first possible case of H1N1 reported at Bucknell.

H1N1 symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu and typically include fever, cough and sore throat. Additional symptoms may include headache, chills, fatigue and body aches. Persons with H1N1 influenza are contagious for up to seven days after the onset of illness and possibly longer if they are still symptomatic.

Student Health Service
Students experiencing any combination of these symptoms should visit Bucknell's Student Health Service or, after hours, Evangelical Community Hospital. Faculty and staff who become ill with these symptoms should contact their family physician or nearest hospital.

Health officials recommend the following guidelines to help prevent the spread of flu viruses:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your upper sleeve when you cough or sneeze.
  • Do not share utensils, drinks or personal care items, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

The Bucknell website (www.bucknell.edu/x52466.xml) contains additional information and links to other resources about swine flu.

Contact: Division of Communications


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