College flu cases decline for first time
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For the first time this new school year, the number of cases of influenza-like illness -- the vast majority of which are assumed to be infections by the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus -- reported weekly has dropped, falling 19% for the week of Sept. 19-25 compared with the previous week, according to surveillance by the American College Health Assn. A total of 6,527 new cases were reported during the week among a campus population totaling more than 3.2 million students. Ninety-one percent of the 274 reporting colleges and universities had cases. There were 11 hospitalizations during the week. Cumulative totals have now reached more than 27,000 cases, with 48 hospitalizations and no deaths.
The highest rates of activity were in the Northeast. The Southeast also has high rates, but activity seems to be waning there. There continues to be brisk activity in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.
-- Thomas H. Maugh II