Berea College is not taking any chances with the flu.

With all students required to live on campus, there is concern that a flu outbreak could spread quickly.

To keep students safe, Berea College is trying to keep sick students away from the masses, said Julie Sowell, news and information manager at Berea College.

“The first recommendation, if possible, is for them to go home and leave campus,” Sowell said. “If that’s not possible, they are kept in isolation.”

Students in single occupancy rooms are being confined to their rooms, while those that have no place to go have been moved to one of two houses off campus.

As of Thursday, six students were staying in one of the houses off campus, Sowell said.

Berea College is no longer keeping records of the number of cases of H1N1 (swine flu) and seasonal flu, but as of Sept. 24, there were four confirmed cases of swine flu at the school.

“Since the beginning of school, we have had about 40 students who have been diagnosed with some kind of flu,” said Sowell, noting that that number has been spread out over two months and not all of the cases are swine flu.

In a letter to students dated Oct. 19, the college states “anyone diagnosed with Influenza Type A should not attend class or labor until at least 24 hours after fever has abated without the use of fever reducing drugs. Residential students diagnosed with flu should advise their roommates and Collegium member or Hall Coordinator of their condition and go home until their symptoms are gone.”

In an effort to keep everyone safe, Berea College has been trying to educate students on how to avoid the flu.

“We’re doing a lot of preventive things,” said Sowell, referring to posters, educational information and a full supply of hand sanitizers and tissues.

Students with flu-like symptoms who visit the health department are kept in a separate waiting area, and if diagnosed with the flu, are given a mask to wear until they can be moved to an isolated area, said Sowell.

“We’re making every effort to shield our students from the flu,” Sowell said.

Collegiate Health Service is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. and on Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 2 to 5 p.m.

For more information, call 985-3212.



Tim Mandell can be reached at tmandell@richmondregister.com or 623-1669 ext. 6696.

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