Wayland monitoring swine flu pandemic at all locations

May 8, 2009 updated

Updated May 8, 2009

PLAINVIEW – Officials at Wayland Baptist University continue to monitoring conditions and take precautions to protect the health and safety of its students and employees in the wake of the many cases of influenza A (H1N1) being reported nationwide. While the World Health Organization has maintained its pandemic alert at Level 5, officials said they are being proactive in preventing illness on Wayland’s 13 campuses.

There have been no cases of this flu strain at any Wayland campus, and Saturday’s graduation ceremony at the Plainview campus will continue as planned. However, university officials urge any family members or friends who may be sick or experiencing any flu-like symptoms to skip the ceremony for their own safety and that of others. Hand sanitizers will be on hand at Hutcherson Center for those feeling the need to protect themselves even more.

The pandemic has prompted serious monitoring of health organizations and emergency management coordinators to prevent problems on campuses. Plans are in place to respond should the situation worsen in any of Wayland’s locations.

In Plainview, dormitory residents were briefed last week on symptoms of the flu strain and health precautions to take while on campus. Housing officials encouraged students with any symptoms to visit the campus nurse, Josie Gomez, as a precautionary measure. In addition, students were encouraged to avoid contact with sick persons and to step up hygiene measures such as hand-washing and the use of hand sanitizers.

Their advice is similar to that of basic personal preparedness for all citizens at this time:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds, especially after sneezing or coughing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if a sink is not available.
  • Avoid touching the nose, mouth or eyes as germs spread heavily that way.
  • Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, then dispose of the tissue immediately after use.
  • Stay home or see a health care provider if you feel sick so as not to endanger others.
  • Use disinfectant on areas of common use like shared computers, phones, doorknobs and other things that can carry germs from hands.
  • Get plenty of sleep, fluid intake and physical activity to maintain strong immunity against viruses and bacteria.

Wayland’s campus maintenance and food service provider, Sodexo, is also monitoring the situation from their standpoint and have briefed all employees on extra precautionary measures with regard to food handling and sanitizing. The campus is adding sanitizers to main buildings and stepping up efforts to keep common areas disinfected regularly.

With regard to Wayland’s other campus locations, officials are staying on top of conditions in those cities and have plans in place should cases arise in those areas. Individuals should watch the Wayland Web site for updated information on any changes to the current operating schedules at all campuses.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu symptoms may include: fever; headache; tiredness; cough; sore throat; runny or stuffy nose; body aches; diarrhea and vomiting (more common among children than adults).

For more information, visit this Frequently Asked Questions PDF or log onto the Centers for Disease Control Web site at www.cdc.gov