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Release: April 13, 2001

UI Student Health Service seeking recent student travelers to Acapulco

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa students who have traveled to Acapulco since last March 1 are asked to contact UI Student Health Service, due to a recent outbreak of an acute respiratory illness among college students returning from Mexico.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have notified the Iowa Department of Public Health and other state health departments about a number of suspected cases of histoplasmosis, an acute respiratory illness with flu-like symptoms, among college students returning from Acapulco. So far, 85 students representing 37 colleges and universities in 18 states have been identified as possibly having the illness.

Histoplasmosis is a fungal organism that, in normally healthy individuals, is not of serious consequence. Uncomplicated primary pulmonary histoplasmosis usually does not require any treatment. However, treatment will be given to individuals with compromised immune systems or with a progressive disseminated disease.

Any UI student who has traveled to Acapulco since March 1 should contact the Student Health Service NurseLine at (319) 335-9704 or 335-8263. Students are asked to leave a message if there is no answer, and a nurse will return calls as soon as possible. The NurseLine is answered from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.