University not to disclose number of students showing flu symptoms

After a three-day increase in the number of students exhibiting flu symptoms, the university stopped disclosing the number of ill students Thursday.

Don Mills, vice chancellor for student affairs, said students are still showing flu symptoms, but the university does not consider releasing the exact number of ill students to be “helpful information.”

“I think when people focus on numbers they aren’t really focusing on what is most important, and that is that students are getting treatment, they’re getting well and the campus is returning to normal,” Mills said.

The last official number of students with flu symptoms was 88 as of Wednesday. These students were treated as though they had the H1N1 virus, known as swine flu, although the exact number of students infected with the virus was unknown and the treatment was a precautionary measure, said associate director of communications Lisa Albert.

The university’s stance on not cancelling classes remains the same, Mills said.

Marilyn Tolbert, director of Laboratory Schools, wrote in an e-mail Thursday to students and faculty that KinderFrogs and Starpoint Laboratory Schools have suspended volunteering and observations until Sept. 4.

The decision was made after the laboratory school administration conferred with Risk Management, the Dean of the College of Education and the Health Center, she wrote.

Tolbert said the schools have students as young as 18 months, many of whom have compromised immune systems and are more vulnerable to the virus.

Staff reporter Lauren Sullivan contributed to this report.