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UW Evaluates Swine Flu Plan

April 27, 2009

University of Wyoming officials are reviewing UW's pandemic flu plan in response to the growing number of swine flue cases in Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Although no cases of swine flu infection have been identified in Wyoming and no swine flu-related deaths have been reported in the United States, university officials are evaluating what precautions would be necessary should swine flu cases appear closer to the state; so far the closest state reporting swine flu is Kansas.

"The health and well-being of our university community is of the utmost importance, and we're doing all we can to be prepared to act in the event that the virus appears in Wyoming," UW Provost Myron Allen says. "In the meantime, all university functions are continuing normally."

UW has established pandemic flu planning because international health organizations have identified the potential fora new type of widespread influenza to be likely at some time. In the event of a pandemic, colleges and universities would be severely affected because of high concentrations of students as well as international travel by students and faculty.

"While we don't underestimate the potential harm that can be caused, there's no reason to take extrordinary measures at UW at this time," Dr. Joanne Steane, director of the UW Student Health Service, says.

UW officials are in touch with Albany County Public Health and are monitoring recommendations from the  Wyoming Department of Health,  the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.

Swine flu is respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly causes outbreaks among pigs. While swine flu viruses infect people rarely, the strain of swine flu that's in the news has been confirmed to spread from human to human. Swine flu viruses aren't transmitted by food and a person cannot get swine flu from eating pork.

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Posted on Monday, April 27, 2009

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