Flu outbreak at Ithaca College with more than 25 reported cases so far

Ithaca College Health Center urging students, staff, and faculty to get free flu shots.

The flu is spreading like wildfire on the Ithaca College campus.

Junior Ellie Ryan just returned to class after spending several days home sick.

"Ive actually seen a few people with masks around," says Ryan.

By Tuesday, the college was reporting 25 cases and that number is growing everyday. Justine Schaff, the Medical Director of the Hammond Health Center, says she has been seeing between 10 and 15 new cases everyday.

"Most of our patients are having body aches, fever, sore throat, cough and some nasal congestion. I would say most of the cases have been mild," says Schaff.

The Hammond Health Center has been providing free flu shots for all faculty, students and staff all semester long and will continue to for as long as supplies last. Before this outbreak, they had already given out 1,200 flu shots.

The Tompkins County Health Department says they are mostly seeing the H1N1 strain. Sigrid Connors, Director of Patient Services for the Tompkins County Health Department is not surprised to see this many cases, particularly when you consider the close quarters of a college campus.

"We're generally seeing more flu in ages 19-49 and that middle aged population and those are the people that are less likely to get vaccinated because they're more likely to be healthy," says Connors.

Sophomore Andrew Brandt hasn't caught the flu yet, but has seen many people close to him get sick.

"My girlfriend got the flu. I was kind of worried about that and there have been a lot more absentees in class," says Brandt.

In the meantime, the health department is telling everyone to take precautions.


et the flu shot, wash your hands, and stay home if you're feeling sick.