Swine Flu Slams Washington State

Washington has reported more cases of suspected flu on college campuses than any other state.

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Washington has had more reports of flulike symptoms among its college students than any other state—three times more than Georgia, the state with the next highest tally, the American College Health Association and the Seattle Post Intelligencer report.

Testing will be necessary to show how many of the illnesses are swine flu. But the figures are being closely watched because of expectations of a resurgence of the H1N1 virus.

Washington State University in Pullman has experienced the most severe college campus outbreak and has pushed the state's average rate of flulike illnesses to 366.8 cases per 10,000 students. The national average is 18 cases per 10,000 students.

"We're all hoping it never gets as bad as it does in Washington," says James Turner of the University of Virginia, who also serves as the ACHA's president. "That remains to be seen."

On Wednesday, 128 students at Washington State contacted health officials with flulike symptoms. One high-risk patient has been hospitalized for dehydration but is expected to recover. About 2,500 cases have been reported since the start of the fall semester.

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