Updated: Thursday, April 30 at 6:00 p.m.

Two Fairfield University students may have contracted the swine flu according to a University press release. The University was informed by the State of Connecticut Department of Health on Thursday morning of the possible cases.

There have now been five cases of swine flu reported in Connecticut. Samples from the Fairfield students have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control to determine if it is truly swine flu or not, but testing in-state seems to prove that it was.

‘Fairfield University remains fully open, and all operations and activities, including final examinations, will continue uninterrupted,’ the press release stated. ‘Students identified with probable swine flu and those they have been in immediate contact with have been contacted by State officials, and Fairfield University will work closely with them.’

At a press conference held by Fairfield University at 3 p.m. in the Dolan School of Business on Thursday, Director of the Student Health Center Gary Nelson said that the two students were both junior females and both are recovering. One student was sent home and the other is recovering on campus. Both are from out of state. Neither of the students traveled to Mexico, or even out of state, according to Nelson. Both live in the townhouses and may have had contact, but it is not known yet. State officials are working to put together how the two students may have contracted the virus.

Nelson added that medically the cases presented as ‘classic flu-lke symptoms,’ including cough, general malaise and low-fever. The students were given a rapid-flu test, both which proved to be positive and then the swabs were sent to the state health department. Seven more students have come into the health center and tested positive for the flu since Tuesday, but it is not yet known if they are ‘unsubtypable’ cases, which tend to be swine flu.

‘The risk is low,’ said University President Fr. Jeffrey von Arx. ‘There is a concern in the community and our focus is on the well being of the faculty and students.’

Town of Fairfield First’ Selectman Ken Flatto also spoke at the conference, saying:’ ‘Both the town and state health departments responded rapidly,’ Flatto said. ‘We are grateful for the help. We are disappointed that out of the five or six cases in Connecticut, two have appeared at this wonderful University. But we know it always rises to the challenge.’

Nelson, the director of the student health center, gave the following definition of swine flu in a press release: ‘Swine flu is a virus infection caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Human to human transmission can occur through coughing or sneezing of people infected with the swine flu virus. People can also be infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.’

Nelson distributed an email around campus with a list of symptoms of the disease and advised students who feel sick to go to the health center as a precaution.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.