AUGUSTA, Maine — The head of Maine’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention is praising the way Bowdoin College responded to an outbreak of swine flu that made 29 students sick.
Dr. Dora Anne Mills says the Brunswick College “handled this very well.” In a Thursday briefing, the state health director said more outbreaks are expected in schools across the state now that students have returned to classes. Mills says state officials spent most of the summer preparing for these H1N1 outbreaks.
According to the Bowdoin College Web site, a total of 29 students have reported flu-like symptoms since classes began last Thursday. Of these, nine students have recovered and returned to regular activities. Seven students with families who live nearby have gone home to recuperate, while 13 students remain in isolation on campus where they are being cared for by Bowdoin staff. Included in this last group are two students who were treated at local hospitals for dehydration and released back to isolation at the College while they recover.
The college was prepared for an outbreak of the H1N1 virus and continues to actively monitor the progression of the virus on campus and in Maine, according to the Web site. Classes, events, and activities are continuing as scheduled. Meanwhile, faculty and coaches have been notified about ill students who are unable to attend class and team practices, and provisions have been made to permit these students to make up their work.
Mills said about half of Maine’s schools have signed on so far to vaccination programs this fall. Some schools have balked because they hadn’t found approved places to store the vaccines.
Mills said a special hotline’s been set up just to address that problem. She also said any school that needs a refrigerator or cooler will get one.