From: Madonna McDermott, director of student health and wellness; Daniel Meuwissen, director of public safety; Colin Brownlow, environmental safety officer
The U.S. Health and Human Services secretary has declared a public emergency nationwide involving Swine Influenza A. This new strain of flu has infected more than 1,000 people in Mexico and has spread into the United States, where 20 documented cases are now known. Because there is clear human-to-human spread of the new virus, Mexico and the U.S. government have taken significant steps in an effort to contain this outbreak.
Though there are confirmed deaths in Mexico, the cases in the United States have been mild, with only one requiring brief hospitalization. This is a rapidly evolving situation. The University of St. Thomas staff is monitoring the outbreak closely will continue to communicate information from the Center for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Public Health to the community as it becomes available.
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu; however the measures below can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza.
U.S. Government: http://www.pandemicflu.gov
World Health Organization: www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/en/index.html
St. Thomas Pandemic Planning: www.stthomas.edu/pandemic
For additional questions, contact the St. Thomas Student Health Service at (651) 962-6750.