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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA readies for swine flu threat

    The first reported case of swine flu in Arizona has prompted UA officials to review emergency plans in case the disease makes its way to campus.

    Vice President for Student Affairs Melissa Vito sent an urgent e-mail to university departments Wednesday detailing how the UA should prepare itself for the possibility of swine flu.

    In her e-mail, Vito demanded all departments submit updated plans to the University of Arizona Police Department by Friday.

    The UA is currently in Stage II – the Pandemic Plan Alert Period – of its six-stage response initiative. If cases of swine flu are found on campus, UA officials may be forced to shut down university operations.

    Arizona’s first swine flu case came in the form of an eight-year-old boy in Maricopa County Wednesday. He has made a full recovery, according to the Associated Press.

    In addition to UA officials reviewing contingency plans, Campus Health Services and Residence Life are meeting today to discuss how the university would handle confirmed cases of swine flu in residence halls.

    Because of the close quarters within the dorms, such a strategy is necessary if the UA is to take the swine flu seriously, said Terri West, Campus Health administrative associate.

    “”We’re going to work it all out (today),”” West said.

    Residence Life Director Jim Van Arsdel will be working alongside Campus Health Director Dr. Harry McDermott to develop a swine flu plan for ResLife, according to Van Arsdel’s office.

    The federal government declared a public health emergency on Sunday in response to swine flu cases within the U.S. While 91 confirmed cases have appeared in the U.S., there has only been one reported death within the country. A 23-month-old male from Mexico City died in Texas of the disease.

    Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said the U.S. swine flu scare originated in Mexico, where 1,600 cases have resulted in more than 100 deaths.

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