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Outbreak of swine flu likely this fall

Sept. 4, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University is urging students, faculty and staff to prepare for a likely outbreak of the H1N1 virus (swine flu) this fall. Several other universities have already reported cases among students returning to their campuses for the start of the school year.

This past week, WMU officials sent separate e-mail messages to students and to faculty and staff. Parents and family members of students were also alerted through WMU's Family Connection newsletter.

Most students had not yet returned to campus when the message was sent, and among the immediate recommendations to students was: if you have flu symptoms, delay your return to school until you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. Students were told what steps to take if they had flu symptoms and were not going to return to campus in time for the scheduled start of fall classes.

Recommendations contained in both e-mail messages and additional information were subsequently posted on the WMU Flu Information Web pages in the form of questions and answers for Students and Families and for Faculty and Staff.

Questions and Answers offered include:

  • Identifying the symptoms of H1N1 flu
  • What to do if you have flu symptoms
  • How to prepare for the possibility of contracting the flu
  • How to reduce your chances of contracting H1N1
  • What to do if you're going to be absent from work or class

"The situation is constantly changing," says Dr. Lisa Marshall, medical director at WMU's Sindecuse Health Center, "which is why we are continuing to monitor the spread of the virus. We will update the WMU community through the Flu Information Web pages and other ongoing communication."

In all cases, WMU follows the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and state and local health departments.

Visit the Flu Information Center at wmich.edu/flu for links to the Sindecuse Health Center and other campus resources, as well as related pages of the CDC and other state, national and international agencies.

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Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

WMU News
Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
(269) 387-8400