East Texas college acts fast to squash virus

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) - The Lon Morris campus looked a little different Thursday. Students walked around with masks in response to a possible H1N1 outbreak.

"We had some students this morning, early, at about 8:15, that, when their room mates and friends were getting up, they couldn't get out of bed," said Miles McCall, president of Lon Morris College.

Lon Morris says two students were taken by ambulance to the emergency room with flu-like symptoms. Later, the school sent five more from Clark Hall to the hospital.

"We quarantined that dorm, emptied the dorm and went immediately into a cleaning process," said McCall. "[On] college campuses, we deal with things like this."

Dr. Luis Haro says in all, 31 students have come through their doors Thursday. So far, three have tested positive for influenza "A".

"September is not influenza season, so any patient with the symptoms of influenza like illness is considered H1N1," said Dr. Luis Haro, Cheif of Emergency Medicine at Trinity Mother Frances.

The college says it has been informing students of the virus for weeks.

"College students, when you tell them if they have flu-like symptoms, they don't know what flu like symptoms are sometimes," said McCall.

"The most common symptom for influenza as opposed to a cold is you have a fever and you feel significant fatigue," said Haro.

Doctors say students with the flu should stay out a minimum of seven days and they must be fever free for at least 24 hours.

"We may be over reacting, but that is the nature of this institution," said McCall. "When you suspect something like that, you go full throttle forward."

For now, the college will keeps it's doors open. Doctors are now limiting the amount of antivirals they prescribe. They say if you are healthy and have a fever and weakness, get rest, lots of fluids, and take Tylenol or Motrin.

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