The Avian Flu? Is That Like a Cold? • NO!The Avian Flu, according to the World Health Organization, is a large group of different influenza viruses that primarily affect birds. • While the Flu primarily stays within the bird population, strain H5N1 has the pandemic potential to adapt into a strain that is contagious to humans. • Most humans have no immunity towards this pandemic virus, therefore infection and illness rates among humans are highly elevated.
We Get Out of School?!? • Don’t get too excited, the pandemic’s not here yet! • However, if the pandemic does begin transmitting human-to-human it has the potential to spread very quickly, so we need to BE PREPARED! • If necessary, university functions could be reduced for a period ranging from 2-4 weeks up to SEVERAL MONTHS! • The University’s goal is to minimize risk of exposure to faculty, staff and students…but we need YOU!
Things To Do To Avoid Exposure IF the pandemic emerges, DON’T: -hug or kiss anyone -shake hands with anyone -come in close contact with large groups DO: -WASH YOUR HANDS -Consult a physician if body temperature elevates
What Happens If The Pandemic Emerges?!?! University of Maryland has issued a response plan that will be activated in several escalating levels: • LEVEL 1:Human-to-human transmission has been reported internationally. • University remains OPEN • LEVEL 2:First case verified in US. • Steps will be taken to eliminate large gatherings • Classes will be CANCELLED • Academic programs will begin shutting down
LEVEL 3: Within 1-5 days of declaring Level 2, all university residences will CLOSE. • Students must temporarily move out of residence halls until further notice • LEVEL 4: Campus is officially CLOSED. • Campus has been evacuated, residence halls are closed • Access onto campus is sealed off for vehicles and pedestrians
Start Packing! While the pandemic is not an issue yet, it is important to have an EMERGENCY PLAN: • Have your airline or travel reservation information handy • Collect contact information for friends and family • Create a back-up plan (travel, classes, etc.) • In the event of campus closure, any earnings you should receive will only be issued electronically, so arrange for direct deposit! • Build a Personal Emergency Kit (food, water, filled prescriptions, health and hygiene items, contact info) • Computer and Books in the event of online courses
The Take Home Message • While the Avian Flu has not yet spread through human-to-human exposure nor to the United States, it is important to have an emergency back-up plan that will ease your transition out of the residence halls if the university were close. • ALWAYS BE PREPARED!
Questions? • Ask your RA! • Go online: www.resnet.umd.edu • Other helpful websites for planning: • www.transportation.umd.edu • www.helpdesk.umd.edu/pandemic • http://compnet.comp.state.md.us/cpb • http://www.testudo.umd.edu/apps/saddr/ • Use this website to give the university your contact info!