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Ithaca College reports sudden spike in influenza cases

Officials at Ithaca College are reporting a sudden increase in students suffering from flu symptoms.

They say the college’s health center has reported 25 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza on Monday and Tuesday alone.

“The Hammond Health Center has seen a sudden increase in visits from students suffering from symptoms of the flu (influenza). On Monday and Tuesday of this week, we have had 25 laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza,” read a statement to students Tuesday.

Cayuga Medical Center’s Dr. Doug Macqueen, M.D., says hand-washing is one of the most effective tools to avoid the flu.

“Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of influenza,” Macqueen said. “If you have the virus on your hands and you touch your nose or eyes, you can infect yourself with the virus.”

Macqueen said the H1N1 influenza virus is back to 2009 levels, when it reached pandemic status.

“This year it’s back and quite prevalent, which is a change from the last couple of years,” he said.

Ithaca College officials are encouraging students, faculty and staff to get the influenza vaccine.

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