Community members encouraged to take simple steps for avoiding flu
May 08, 2009
Ryerson University continues to monitor the global flu situation and is prepared to take appropriate steps in the event that circumstances change.
The University developed a Flu Pandemic Plan in 2006 to protect the well-being of students, faculty and staff and to preserve the academic, research and financial integrity of the institution.
"Right now we're in a pre-pandemic phase of our University Plan where we're tracking conditions and monitoring the situation. We want to make sure that the community and our plan-related decisions are well-informed," said Julia Lewis, Director of the Centre for Environmental Health, Safety and Security Management. "Our decisions are guided by external information offered by experts. We've predicted possible scenarios and have provided the best possible solution for each given circumstance."
Individuals can help by following a few simple guidelines, according to the University's Director of Student Health and Wellness.
"Taking steps to stop the spread of the flu virus is important for everyone. We'll all stay healthier longer while the scientific community is working to develop a vaccine," said Dr. Su-ting Teo, Director of Student Health and Wellness.
"I urge everyone to follow a few simple health precautions: wash your hands frequently; cough and sneeze into your sleeve or tissue and not your hands, and stay at home if you're sick. There are hand sanitizers across campus for everyone to use at the entrance of washrooms. If you think you may have the flu, call your physician or the Ryerson Health Centre."
Although the number of cases in Canada is increasing at the time of this writing, all Ontario cases and all but one Canadian case are reported to be mild.
H1N1 Flu Virus is a strain of the influenza virus that usually affects pigs, but can also make people sick.
It's a respiratory illness that causes symptoms similar to those of the regular human seasonal flu, including headache, chills and cough followed by fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches and fatigue, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and throat irritation. Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea may occur in adults as well as in children. In more severe cases, or in people with chronic conditions or compromised immune systems, complications such as pneumonia may develop.
How the human swine flu is transmitted is still being investigated but it is likely spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing, the same as seasonal influenza.
If you would like more information about swine flu, its symptoms and how to help protect yourself against transmission, please visit the Ryerson Health Centre website at http://www.ryerson.ca/studentservices/healthcentre/forms/h1n1_faq%20May%201.pdf. Information is also available at the Health Canada and Toronto Public Health websites. Up-to-date information about travel advisories can be found at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/pub-eng.php.
If you have any questions about the Ryerson Flu Pandemic Plan please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.