Swine flu update: nurses report great decrease in those effected locally and beyond

By Amber Jurgensen | gargoyle@flagler.edu

Flagler Health Services had their hands full last year dealing with case after case of swine flu but nurse Judy Angyalfly said things have settled down this year.

“I came on board in this position last year in September right in the middle of all the craziness so Holly was here all by herself prior to that, and she was really having a time trying to keep up with it,” Angyalfly said about her co-worker Holly Hagler, another registered nurse at Flagler College.

Flu season extended to April but the bulk of cases were in the fall last year. According to the college’s health services’ records, there were 36 cases of influenza like illnesses (ILI) from September to December of last year.

“At that time everyone was scared. We weren’t sure what this swine flu was and people were dying and so there were an awful lot of emotions attached to it, people were being isolated in their rooms.” Angyalfly said. “It was a frightening experience, I think, for a lot of people.”

This year there have only been two reported cases.

“In the state of Florida, there’s been isolated cases but it’s been few and far between,” Angyalfly said.

“Flagler College Health Services are participating along with a lot of other health services and clinics throughout the entire state of Florida. We’re doing a flu surveillance. So all of us each week have to report to the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, on a number of people who have reported through our area that have flu symptoms,” Angyalfly said.

“There’s specific criteria that have to be met for us to consider them to have influenza-like illness (ILI) and we’re really looking at that because the reason is whether it’s swine flu or seasonal flu…it really doesn’t matter, we’re going to treat it all the same,” Angyalfly said.

A new vaccine that treats seasonal flu and swine flu has been released this year. According to the St. Augustine Record, 67 million doses have been made.

“We have it [the vaccine] available, we’ve announced it to the entire college campus and we still have 40 doses left that no one seems to want, which I thought was kinda interesting. I thought everyone would want it,” Angyalfly said.

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