H1N1 cases at Georgetown drop after September peak
Students wait in line for the H1N1 vaccine on Friday
When we reported on H1N1 cases at Georgetown in late September, the virus had infected about 250 students and the number of cases was rising precipitously every day. Infection rates have since dropped off. According to an e-mail from Dr. James Welsh, assistant vice president for student health, in the past four weeks, the number of students with Influenza-like Illnesses has dropped to about 35 per week.
Welsh wrote that so far, about 600 students have consulted the Student Health Center with H1N1 symptoms, with cases peaking throughout the month of September. (A report from the President’s Office had expected cases to peak in October).
“There continues to be however, significant signs of illness and we remained concerned about further spread within the GU community,” Welsh wrote.
As Sommer wrote in September, since that number does not include students who were sick but did not seek treatment or advice, that number is likely higher.
In late September, the University also administered 2,800 doses of the seasonal flu vaccine, which does not protect against H1N1, to the campus community. Welsh wrote in his e-mail that the University has an additional 4,000 doses on back order, but “due to the nationwide shortage of seasonal flu vaccine, [the University has] not been given a shipment date.”
On Thursday, the University received 1,300 doses of H1N1 vaccination from the D.C. Department of Health. It administered doses of the vaccination first to high-priority medical workers and medical and nursing students and on Friday, gave the remaining doses to Georgetown students on a first-come-first-serve basis free of charge at 2:00 p.m. in the Leavey Center.
In October, the University administered 300 doses of the nasal vaccine for H1N1 to Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service EMTs, medical workers, and medical and nursing students in accordance with Center for Disease Control guidelines.
Photo by Hilary Nakasone