A Cornell University student died Friday at Cayuga Medical Center from complications relating to H1N1 influenza, according to the Ithaca, N.Y., university.
Warren Schor, a 20-year-old junior, is the first H1N1 influenza-related fatality in Tompkins County, the Health Department said.
In a message to members of the Cornell community, university President David Skorton wrote: “We wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to [Schor's family] and to his many friends. Please keep them in your thoughts in the following days."
Schor was a student in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and a member of Zeta Beta Tau fraternity.
Skorton also urged all members of the community to be on alert about the risks related to underlying health conditions and severe flu symptoms.
It was not immediately clear whether Schor had an underlying medical condition.
Cornell Director of Press Relations Claudia Wheatley, citing confidentiality reasons, declined to comment on any additional details.
“To respect the wishes of the family, no further information about the individual will be released,” Tompkins County Public Health Director Alice Cole said in a statement.
“H1N1 has been causing mild to moderate symptoms in most people, and most recover within 4-7 days with self-care at home,” Sharon Dittman, associate director of community relations at Gannett Health Services, stated in an e-mail to The Sun earlier this week. “However, it sometimes does cause more serious illness, so it is important to be vigilant.”
About 70 percent of people nationwide who have been hospitalized with the 2009 H1N1 virus have had an underlying medical condition that placed them at a higher risk of serious complications, according to the CDC.
At least two other college students in the United States have died from complications relating to the flu, Inside Higher Ed reported on Tuesday.
Influenza-like illness has been reported at more than 70-percent of college campuses nationwide, according to a survey by the American College Health Association, which has been tracking the spread of the disease. The highest rates of activity have been in the Northwest and Southeast regions of the country, according to the ACHA.
On Wednesday, university health officials said that approximately 450 Cornell students had been diagnosed by Gannett Health Services with probable H1N1 influenza. Cornell’s Inter-Fraternity Council has also placed a seven-day moratorium on fraternity social events in an effort to curb the spread of the flu across campus.
Ithaca College’s health center has diagnosed some 18 students there with probable H1N1 influenza, The Ithacan reported on Thursday.