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Campus informational message regarding swine flu

Anna Martin, vice president for administration and chair of William & Mary's Emergency Management Team, sent the following informational message to the College community Tuesday regarding the swine flu. -Ed

As you may know, U.S. health officials have declared a public health emergency in response to an outbreak of swine flu.  Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has explained that the emergency declaration is standard operating procedure, referring to it as a "declaration of emergency preparedness."

In the U.S., there are 50 confirmed human cases of swine influenza in New York, California, Texas, Kansas and Ohio. All the cases have had mild influenza-like illness with only one requiring brief hospitalization.

Although at this time none of those reported cases have been in Virginia, State and local health organizations are working together to prepare to respond should there be an outbreak.  William and Mary has a comprehensive response plan in place.  The Emergency Management Team is closely monitoring the situation for any new developments.  The steps we are taking are precautionary and our goal is to provide you with information not to alarm you.  The College is in close contact with local and state health department officials.

If you are sick or suspect you have any symptoms related to swine flu (fever, chills, body aches,) please stay at home. Do not attend classes, and students should call the Student Health Center (221-4386) for an urgent appointment.

If you are traveling, please check ahead to determine if there are conditions you should be aware of.

Precautions suggested by health officials include:

1. Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, and disposing of it afterward.
2. Frequent hand-washing.
3. Avoiding close contact with sick people.

To familiarize yourself with this public health threat and to learn more about preventive steps you can take, please see the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control at: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/guidance_homecare.htm

at Homeland Security at: http://www.hhs.gov/

Please be assured that we will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as needed.

Stay safe,

Anna Martin
Chair, Emergency Management Team