Iowa State University

News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

The latest on H1N1 flu virus

May 8: H1N1 virus confirmed in ISU student

The probable case of H1N1 virus in a Marshalltown student has been confirmed, Story County health officials informed the university overnight. The student left campus May 4.

May 5, 4 p.m.: 29 probable cases in Iowa

The Iowa Department of Public Health reports 29 probable H1N1 cases in the state; 1 confirmed. DPH report (PDF).

May 5: ISU student has probable case of H1N1 virus

An ISU freshman from Marshalltown is being tested for Story County's first probable case of novel influenza A, or the H1N1 virus. Results back today from the state hygienic laboratory confirmed the virus is non-specified type A. The probable H1N1 case has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing. More.

May 4: Student from Marshalltown diagnosed with Type A flu, testing under way

An ISU freshman from Marshalltown has tested positive for Influenza Type A. The 18-year-old female recuperated at home over the weekend and has returned to campus. A rapid flu test determined the student had Influenza Type A, which could be either common, seasonal flu, or the more rare novel influenza A (H1N1). The sample was forwarded to the state hygienic laboratory as a matter of standard procedure. More.

May 4: About finals exams

If you have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus or are ill with flu-like symptoms, please follow the universal precautions, listed on this page, and do not attend final exams. If illness prevents your attending an exam, please do the following:

  • Contact your instructor immediately and before the exam to let him or her know that you are ill. If you cannot reach your instructor by phone, please send an e-mail.
  • If you are well enough to complete the exam remotely during finals week, work with your instructor to determine whether a remote process is feasible. This will not be an option for every class. The instructor may also propose an alternate method of completing requirements for the course.
  • If you do not complete the final exam during finals week, the instructor will fill out an incomplete form for you and record an "I" grade. A copy of this form will be mailed to you. It will be the student's responsibility to contact the instructor about making up the final exam in the allotted time.

Our primary concern is for your individual health as well as the health of everyone in the Iowa State community. If your condition warrants medical treatment, please contact the Student Health Center, or call 294-5801.

Best wishes for a healthy end to spring semester and a wonderful summer.

May 2: First case of H1N1 in Iowa confirmed

The first Iowa case of H1N1 has been confirmed, prompting Gov. Chet Culver to declare a health emergency. News from KCRG-TV.

Protect yourself from the flu

The Centers for Disease Control recommends people take these everyday actions to stay healthy:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people, and if you are sick, stay home.

Watch for symptoms

The symptoms of H1N1 flu are similar to regular influenza, and may include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with H1N1 flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with H1N1 flu infection in people. As with seasonal flu, H1N1 may worsen underlying chronic medical conditions.

If you are feeling ill or have questions about your health, call the Thielen Student Health Center at (515) 294-5801, Mary Greeley Medical Center at (515) 239-2011, or your preferred healthcare provider.

The Iowa Department of Public Health has established a toll-free, 24-hour hotline to answer questions about H1N1 flu: 1-800-447-1985.

Government travel recommendations

The U.S. State Department has recommended caution on any travel to Mexico, and the Centers for Disease Control has recommended against non-essential travel to Mexico. Iowa State University officials urge all students, faculty and staff to defer travel to Mexico.

Iowa State University's Study Abroad Center has canceled study-abroad trips to Mexico in May. Students who were scheduled to leave will have the opportunity to study in other countries, according to Trevor Nelson, Study Abroad Center director.

It's safe to eat pork

People cannot get H1N1 flu from consuming pork. It is safe to eat properly cooked pork and pork products.

The virus is spreading by human-to-human contact. According to a National Pork Board statement, the CDC has said it has not found any evidence to indicate that any of the illnesses resulted from contact with pigs.

FOR THE MEDIA: Iowa State University experts

Iowa State University has a number of faculty and staff experts available to answer various questions about H1N1 flu:

  • Michelle Hendricks, (515) 294-7971,, director of ISU's Thielen Student Health Center. Hendricks earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from South Dakota State University and an MBA from Central Missouri State University. She has more than 20 years of experience in health care administration, and has extensive experience in emergency planning.
  • David Inyang, (515) 294-5359,, director of ISU Environmental Health and Safety. Inyang holds a Ph.D. in environmental health from the University of Oklahoma. Inyang and his team work to provide and ensure a safe and healthful environment at Iowa State for employees, students and the visiting public. EH&S is responsible for oversight and coordination of biosafety, environmental programs, health and safety and emergency preparedness on campus.
  • Dr. Butch Baker, (515) 294-9358,, Senior Clinician of Food Supply Veterinary Medicine Unit. As current president of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, Dr. Baker has a command of the issues relating to H1N1 flu. His organization includes members from Mexico, where the flu currently has the greatest impact.
  • Dr. Jim Roth, (515) 294-8459,, Veterinary Microbiology and Preventative Medicine. Dr. Roth is an immunologist who works on numerous fronts to improve the availability and use of biologics for animal health needs worldwide. Roth also serves as the executive director of the Institute for International Cooperation in Animal Biologics.
  • Dr. Pat Halbur,, (515) 294-6970, chair of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine, executive director of ISU's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Halbur is an expert in swine respiratory disease and PRRSV.
  • Dr. Bruce Janke,, (515) 294-1950, Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine. In 1998, Dr. Janke was part of a team that identified a new subtype of Swine Influenza Virus (SIV) - the first new subtype detected since the disease was discovered in the U.S. in 1918. He has also developed new diagnostic tests for differential diagnosis, and experimentally reproduced the virus to enable vaccine evaluation, molecular characterization and epidemiology studies.
  • Dr. Rodger Main,, (515) 294-1950, director of operations, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Dr. Main oversees the daily operation of the diagnostic laboratory's performance of diagnostic services, comprehensive surveillance testing programs and applied research on diseases of high relevance to animal agriculture.
  • Dr. Hank Harris,, (515) 294-1664, professor of animal science. Dr. Harris' research focuses on infectious swine diseases. Current diseases of primary interest are Porcine Reproductive and Reproductive Syndrome (PRRS) virus, Swine Influenza Virus (SIV), and others.