Study abroad students detained with swine flu in Singapore

Students on the Beijing-Singapore summer study abroad program have been detained in government facilities in Singapore after one student contracted flu-like symptoms and subsequently tested positive for H1N1 influenza on June 19. After this initial case, 3 more students were confirmed to have swine flu and all of the students, as well as one graduate assistant, were quarantined. The total number of detained Tech students is 24.

”I was with a group of nine other people in Hong Kong when the news broke out about the first case,” said Kristina Kaylen, a third-year IE major. “[The quarantine] made sense because the Singapore government is trying to prevent the start of swine flu in their country while in the U.S. it’s already spreading everywhere.”

The students are being held in three separate government chalet resorts. Preliminary speculations on how the Tech students contracted swine flu have focused on a Singapore nightclub, where three students came in contact with an infected bartender, and a recent trip to Taiwan.

The group of study abroad students are supposed to fly to Beijing on June 28, but it is still uncertain whether the students will be released from quarantine before that date. According to Kaylen, all of the infected students are recovering well and the first student to contract swine flu has already been released from the hospital.

”I hope we get out soon, even though the accommodations aren’t bad,” Kaylen said. “There’s plenty of space, we’re only a few feet away from the beach, but we can’t leave the bungalows. Government workers act as guards and bring us food and we have to wear masks whenever we step out of our rooms.”

In addition to the cases abroad, a swine flu case on Tech’s Atlanta campus has been confirmed. The student is currently recovering at home.