Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Richard Tanson will be attending a conference May 4-6th sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in Washington. Make sure to watch for continuing announcement, workshops, etc.
The University is sending out the following message on the swine flu outbreak that has recently been tracked in Mexico and a few states in the U.S. Click below to read the full message:
To members of the University community:
Although no cases of swine flu have been reported in Virginia, the University is addressing the possibility of a flu outbreak with an abundance of caution. As always, the safety and well being of all members of the University community — students, staff, and faculty — are our primary concern.
While there is currently no cause for alarm in Charlottesville, the University’s Pandemic Committee met earlier today to review the University’s Pandemic Influenza Response Plan and to discuss what steps the University would take to inform and protect members of our community.
As you may be aware, 40 cases of swine flu, which was first confirmed in Mexico earlier this month, have been identified in five states in the United States — California, Kansas, New York, Ohio and Texas. In addition, there is confirmation of cases in Canada. The cases reported in the United States have been mild, and only one person has been hospitalized.
Because this is an evolving situation, the United States declared a public health emergency on Sunday so preparations could be put in place in case they are needed. The World Health Organization has declared the flu a “public health emergency of international concern.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is actively monitoring the situation, as is the state Health Department. The Thomas Jefferson Health District also has an extensive flu surveillance system that coordinates at local, state, national, and international levels. Together, they are working with doctors to quickly identify and confirm any new cases of swine flu.
The University will rely on the CDC and our local health department to keep us apprised of the latest developments. Under the leadership of Marge Sidebottom, the University’s director of Emergency Preparedness, and Dr. James Turner, the director of Student Health, the University’s committee will work closely with these entities and continue to communicate critical information to members of our community.
In the meantime, just about everything you need to know about swine flu can be found on the CDC Web site. http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/
In particular, know what you can do to protect yourself. The CDC has prepared guidance on the everyday actions that each of us can take to stay healthy. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people, so these simple measures can be of great help. They include:
* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
* Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
* Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, as germs spread that way.
* Try not to touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus.
* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
* If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
* The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue.
* Early treatment is the key to preventing more serious secondary bacterial infections, so you should not delay in calling your physician.
** If you are a University student experiencing flu symptoms, you should call Student Health before going in for treatment so that they can be prepared for your arrival. During the day, call 434-982-3915; after hours, call 434-972-7004.
Updated University-related information regarding swine flu and links to informative flu-related sites will be posted on the University’s homepage beginning tomorrow.
executive vice-president and chief operating officer