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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Swine flu pandemic to worsen

UA employees received an e-mail on Thursday stressing new recommendations to limit the spread of the H1N1 virus, which officials say is already spreading through campus.

National health experts predict as many as one in four people in the United States will become ill this fall with H1N1, also known as swine flu, the e-mail from Dr. Harry McDermott, executive director of Campus Health Services said.

As many as 320 cases of flu have been diagnosed on campus since Aug. 17, which is unusual for this time of year, McDermott said in a separate e-mail to the Daily Wildcat.

McDermott stressed the importance of both seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccinations for employees.

McDermott told the Daily Wildcat the UA is to receive a supply of H1N1 vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

But it’s still too early to say when the UA will receive vaccine shipments, he said.

The campus will also have to wait till the federal government releases its first vaccine shipments before officials know how much vaccine will be available to the UA and when it will arrive.

The Web site for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the vaccine will be available sometime this fall, but there is no specific date yet.

In the meantime, McDermott recommends good hygiene, such as frequent hand washing.

Also, McDermott advised sick employees to stay home and asked for leniency from employers in the likely event there is increased absenteeism.

Persons who feel they are seriously ill are asked to call their doctor’s office first before going in to limit the virus’ spread.

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