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Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011 11:07 a.m.

Pneumonia cases spike this fall

Pneumonia, flu shots, sick

Then-senior Brandon Mansur receives a free flu shot during free clinic offered by the University in 2009. File photo

GW has seen higher than usual rates of respiratory illness this fall, a University spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Since the end of July, 46 cases of pneumonia were reported to the GW Student Health Service, an uptick from the average two to three cases per month last fall. The most recent case of pneumonia was reported Nov. 18.

University spokeswoman Michelle Sherrard said students affected included both undergraduates and graduates living on and off-campus, adding that the cases have generally been mild to moderate and were resolved within seven to 10 days through treatment with antibiotics.

“Every few years these situations happen in university settings and the GW Student Health Service constantly monitors for any student health trends,” Sherrard said.

She said a single cause of these cases has not been identified, but University officials are working with the D.C. Department of Health to track the cases and monitor the situation.

To help prevent the illness from spreading, GW has encouraged students, faculty and staff to wash their hands regularly, cover their coughs and get flu shots at campus clinics and has made extra efforts to clean high-traffic areas.

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