Large increase in pneumonia cases at UW-Madison - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Large increase in pneumonia cases at UW-Madison


MADISON (WKOW) -- The student health center at UW-Madison says it has seen a large increase in the number of students diagnosed with pneumonia over the last month.

University Health Services (UHS) says lab testing confirmed many of the cases are due to mycoplasma pneumoniae, a common cause of pneumonia illness in young adults.

UHS Executive Director Dr. Sarah Van Orman says they've seen about 90 cases this fall, many of which came in the last few weeks. She says UHS typically sees about half that number of cases at this point.

It comes as students head into finals week, which begins December 15. UHS suggests students stay home if they are sick. UHS says pneumonia is spread through respiratory droplets, meaning it can spread through sneezing, coughing, nasal dripping or exhaling.

UHS says symptoms of pneumonia include:

  • Coughing, sometimes with green or blood-tinged mucus
  • Fever
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Chills
  • Increasing chest pain when you cough or breath in
To protect against pneumonia, UHS says you should wash your hands with soap and warm water several times each day, and sneeze or cough into your elbow, not your hands.
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