Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 30, 2009

Whitworth Response to Swine Flu Concerns

To the Whitworth Community:

This is an update on Whitworth’s response to concerns about swine flu in Spokane County.  There has been one suspected case in the county that is being treated as Swine Flu H1N1 until it is evaluated by the Centers for Disease Control. The Spokane Regional Health District is providing regular briefings to the public and the media through its website: www.srhd.org. For a helpful fact sheet from the health district, click here.

Health Center Director Jan Murray cautions people against becoming overly alarmed at this point. Currently, there are no suspected cases of swine flu at Whitworth. Anyone reporting to the health center with respiratory symptoms is being asked to wear a mask and is being evaluated for possible swine flu symptoms, but nobody has met the criteria. Whitworth has developed and tested an infectious disease plan and is prepared to implement its provisions as necessary.

Whitworth is in close contact with the Spokane Regional Health District and will notify the campus community of any public health advisories that may affect campus operations. While this type of swine flu virus and the timing of the outbreak are unusual, it is not yet known how contagious or virulent the virus is. Public health officials are erring on the side of caution until more is known.

We encourage everyone to take the following precautions recommended by the CDC:

  • Wash your hands frequently.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cough/sneeze into your sleeve rather than your hands.

  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with your hands.

  • Practice other good health habits such as getting enough rest, drinking plenty of fluids, eating healthy food and managing stress.

Contacts:

Greg Orwig, director of communications, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

Jan Murray, director of the health center, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4449 or jmurray@whitworth.edu.

Related Links:

Whitworth Press Release Index