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W&M launches flu information Web site

Have you washed your hands yet today? If not, it's time to hit the soap and hot water - and then check out William & Mary's health alerts Web site for more flu precaution tips and up-to-date information on H1N1, also called swine flu.

The Web site, www.wm.edu/flu, is operated by the College's Emergency Management Team. It will include links to all campus-wide messages regarding the flu as well as background information, data and news updates from both the College's EMT and the Center for Disease Control regarding the H1N1 virus. It also includes frequently asked questions for students and employees, and also incorporates multimedia safety tips, including a video produced by students and the College's health educators on washing your hands and flu precautions.

Anna Martin, chair of the EMT and vice president for administration, sent out a campus-wide message regarding the College's plan regarding possible cases of H1N1 and the importance of all members of the community doing their best to reduce the spread of flu.

"This year the flu season is likely to begin earlier and be of a much stronger intensity than in previous years," Martin said.  "The College has been making preparations to manage through the season in a way that helps you stay healthy and the school year stay on track.  We are working closely with local and state health departments to monitor flu conditions and to make solid decisions about the next steps to take.  We need you to do your part as well. "

Provost Michael R. Halleran followed up Martin’s message with an e-mail to faculty Wednesday. He encouraged them to be prepared to adjust to the upcoming challenges of the flu season.

“While we expect that William & Mary, like all universities, will see its share of cases of the H1N1 virus (“swine flu”), the scope and severity are not yet known,” Halleran wrote. “What is known is that this will likely pose substantial challenges to the academic calendar and require a good deal of flexibility and planning from all of us.”