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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


MUSC has seen H1N1 virus in some patients

by Office of Public Relations
As of Sept. 2, MUSC has seen 13 patients confirmed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) as having novel influenza A H1N1, also known as swine flu. No students have been diagnosed with H1N1 as of this same date.
There is no rapid test for H1N1. Currently H1N1 may be diagnosed by obtaining a culture for influenza. If the culture is positive for influenza A and the patient is hospitalized, the culture can be sent for identification of H1N1 to the state.
Regular rapid influenza antigen testing (not H1N1) has a sensitivity of about 80 percent as claimed by the test manufacturers, but this percentage can be less accurate outside of flu season. The best sensitivity of the tests for seasonal influenza occurs during the winter. The more people that are sick with influenza, the more likely an antigen test is going to truly be positive.
Due to the low sensitivity of the rapid antigen tests, it would be more beneficial to save money that would be spent on a rapid antigen test and buy Tamiflu instead for a influenza-like illnesses.
MUSC’s Student Health Services is taking steps to upload a new Web calculator that students and others could use to plug in symptoms they are having. The program would then tell them “this sounds like a cold, do x,” or if you fall into a risk group and are having certain symptoms, “call your doctor and do y.”

Tips for staying healthy
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with your sleeve, and throw used tissues in the trash.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Call your doctor if you’re really sick.


Friday, Sept. 11, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.