New infections by the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus rose 20% at colleges and universities last week as the nation edges closer to the normal flu season. A total of 6,432 cases of influenza-like illness--presumed to be swine flu--were reported during the week of Sept. 5-11 at the 253 institutions that report weekly to the American College Health Assn. For the college year, 13,434 cases have now been reported.
The nationwide rate was 21.5 cases per 10,000 students, with the rate the highest in the Northwest. The rate was also above-normal in the Southeast, but had declined from the previous week. Sixteen hospitalizations and no deaths were reported during the week, but one death was reported at a college that does not participate in the association's program.
-- Thomas H. Maugh II