There are two things that will be increasingly uppermost in our
minds as we read more and more news about the worldwide outbreak of
Swine Flu, now being called A/H1N1, that threatens to become a
pandemic: what can I do to protect myself and what is being done by
others (governments, employers – including McGill – health care
facilities and so on)?
First, IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to remember the basic precautions to take with any flu-like illness: wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, try to cough or sneeze into your forearm instead of your hands, and visit a health care professional if you begin to exhibit symptoms of the illness. These sound like simple actions, but they have proven effective in helping limit the spread of the virus.
If you do feel you are ill and should stay home, please follow normal procedures required for an absence from work or from missing classes.
The number of reported cases in Canada will undoubtedly climb and we will see cases here in Quebec and/or in Montreal. This should come as no surprise and is not a cause for panic. So far, virtually all cases outside Mexico have been mild cases of the flu that have not required hospitalization.
Information on the federal government’s travel advisories can be found at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada or at the Public Health Agency of Canada.
What else is McGill doing to cope with this situation? The University remains in very close contact with public health officials and our fellow Quebec universities to make sure we have all the current information available so we can take whatever steps are needed to minimize any effects in the McGill community. The University is actively working to deal effectively with questions and problems posed by this situation and how it might affect all aspects of the University’s functioning.
You may be asked to help us as we deal with these things and we ask that you please co-operate fully.
It is too early to know how widespread or how serious this outbreak will become, so it is too early know what effects the flu outbreak might have on the University’s operations in the coming weeks. We will continue to keep you informed through notes such as these and very visible announcements on the McGill home page, www.mcgill.ca
In the meantime, MORE INFORMATION about A/H1N1 (swine flu), including its symptoms and how to help avoid it, can be found on McGill’s health site at www.mcgill.ca/health.
You may also address questions to info.mcgill [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Swine%20Flu%20Inquiry) .
A series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions is posted on the health website and will be expanded in the coming days.
More information for students will be circulated next week at the beginning of summer classes.