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Apr-30-2009 22:51printcomments

H1N1 Virus- Swine Flu Case Leads to Closure of Western Oregon University

The Polk County Health Department is working with WOU to contact members of the campus community who were in close contact with the student.

Neal Werner University Center at Western Oregon State University in Monmouth
Neal Werner University Center at Western Oregon State University in Monmouth. Salem-News.com photo

(MONMOUTH, Ore.) - The Western Oregon University campus in Monmouth is closed and will remain closed through Monday, May 4th, based on a recommendation of the Oregon Health Dept.

A probable case of the H1N1 virus, swine flu, has been found on campus.

Western Oregon University President John Minahan says a Western Oregon University student exhibited flu-like symptoms earlier this week.

"The student tested positive for influenza A at the WOU Student Health Center. The student, who lives off campus, is receiving medical treatment."

He says the Polk County Health Department was notified and the specimen was sent to the State of Oregon Health Department Lab.

"This afternoon, we received notification that the specimen would require further testing by the Center for Disease Control; indications are likely that the diagnosis is a case of the 2009 H1N1 influenza (swine flu)."

The results of the CDC testing will be known within the next few days; and Minahan says they expect to have those results by Monday.

Until then, the campus remains closed. This includes a closure of the Werner University Center and the Hamersly Library.

The decision to re-open campus will be determined when the results of the CDC testing have been received, Minahan said.

"At the recommendation of the Oregon Department of Public Health, we encourage students living on campus to continue living in their residence halls until more definitive information is obtained. Students living off campus are asked to stay within their current living community."

He adds that all faculty and staff are requested to stay home, unless contacted by their supervisor.

The Polk County Health Department has been involved in the student's diagnostic procedures. Minahan says they will take further actions as appropriate.

"We will keep you updated as more information is obtained, and as we are advised by the Oregon Department of Human Services on any further action that must be taken."

He reminds those affected by this that they can always visit the WOU Website: wou.edu

In the meanwhile, the Polk County Health Department is working with WOU to contact members of the campus community who were in close contact with the student.

The Department and WOU will be providing advice on how to cooperate with efforts to limit any spread of this flu; how you can identify signs of the flu; steps you should take if you need treatment.

"If you experience any flu-like symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention. Additional information will be provided as soon it becomes known," Minahan said.


Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor.
Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), the first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several other awards including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website, affiliated with Google News and several other major search engines and news aggregators.
You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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