Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Steamboat Springs Three students at Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus have tested positive for influenza A, Debbie Crawford, a spokeswoman for the college system, said Tuesday.
The college announced Friday that four Alpine Campus students were being treated for suspected cases of the flu.
Suzi Mariano, the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association's public information coordinator, said positive tests for influenza A have to be sent for further sub-typing to determine whether they contain the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu.
"Because it tests (positive) for influenza A, it could be multiple strains of flu," she said. "It doesn't mean it's H1N1. It's sort of the first step in processing for that flu."
Crawford added that three additional Alpine Campus students were experiencing flu-like symptoms, and three others were ill, which may or may not be the flu. She said the first four cases reported last week were included in the nine she mentioned Tuesday. Crawford added that no students had been hospitalized.
Mariano said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only recommends testing for the H1N1 virus if someone is severely ill or hospitalized because those tests are conducted by a state lab.
Crawford said she didn't know whether the influenza A cases would be sent for further testing.
She reiterated that the college continues to remind students to wash their hands frequently, cough into their elbows and stay home if they're sick. Students also are asked to contact their student life coordinator or counselor if they become ill, but Crawford said it's up to them whether to see a doctor. She said a part-time physicians' assistant is available for students at the Alpine Campus.