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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA not considering shutdown for swine flu

    The UA Campus Emergency Response Team is exercising caution in the event of a reported case of swine flu on campus but university officials said a shutdown is not a possibility at this point.

    Paul Allvin, associate vice president for University Communications, said the university is monitoring the situation very closely.

    “”We haven’t even contemplated any shutdown of campus,”” he said. “”It’s not something that’s part of the conversation right now.””

    According to Allvin, this flu is currently presenting itself like a normal seasonal flu.

    “”People come onto this campus during flu season with the flu all the time and we don’t shut down the campus.- we don’t quarantine it,”” he said.

    The university is exercising an abundance of caution by making sure all of the detergents and soaps used to clean the public bathrooms are extra strength, Allvin said.

    “”The World Health Organization says soap and washing your hands is the most important way to keep this from spreading,”” he said. “”If we know we are paying extra attention to keeping things clean that we touch around campus that’s a good deterrent.””

    If there were a reported case on campus, Allvin said the university is prepared with masks to keep it from spreading.

    “”We have the basics we would need just to respond if there was an outbreak here,”” he said.

    Patti Woodcock, community relations manager for the Pima County Health Department, said she is 100 percent sure that there will be a reported case in Pima County but she wanted to remind people to stay calm when it does occur.

    “”I don’t think anybody should be worried, it’s just like what we deal with when we see regular flu in the wintertime,”” she said. “”It’s important that people make a plan on what they are going to do if someone in their family gets sick, it’s those kinds of things where you make your own personal preparedness plan.””

    Woodcock said if people get sick it is important that they not panic and go to the emergency room.

    “”People need to stay home if they’re sick and if they’re not getting better, call their doctor, don’t just go down to the office and walk in because whatever you have you may be exposing other people in the waiting room,”” she said. “”Leave the emergency rooms for real emergencies.””

    The difference between swine flu and seasonal influenza is the mix of strains, Woodcock said.

    “”This one has some strains of avian flu as well as swine flu, it’s kind of a little mixture of everything, it’s got a little twist to it,”” she said. “”We don’t know if it’s really more dangerous.””

    Brian Seastone, University of Arizona Police Department commander, said police are taking all the same precautions as other parts of campus. “”We’re no different than anybody else on campus, we’re all part of the campus emergency response team, and we’re all involved in that,”” he said. “”Everybody is getting the same information.””

    Allvin said there is no reason for people to worry about this at the moment.

    “”We don’t want to unduly alarm or frighten people by blowing this out of perspective,”” he said. “”Our preparedness is at a very high level, were making sure we are following all the best practices from the Center for Disease Control and we’re just monitoring it daily just to make sure.””

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