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Acting Vice-Chancellor advises University to be cautious of flu - 28 May 2009

Acting Vice-Chancellor advises University to be cautious of flu

Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Don Nutbeam, has requested staff and students at the University of Sydney exercise a high degree of caution towards health, as reports of swine flu infections continue to spread in New South Wales.

In a message to the university community, the Acting Vice-Chancellor advised all staff or students experiencing flu symptoms to stay home until they have sought medical advice, or until the symptoms subside.

The Acting Vice-Chancellor also warned those who had recently travelled to affected countries, particularly Mexico, the United States, Canada, Panama and Japan, that they may be at risk.

“Anyone who has returned from these areas and who develops respiratory symptoms, such as cough, fever, or sore throat, should immediately call their local doctor or public health unit or go to their local hospital emergency department for advice on assessment and treatment,” read the message.

Professor Nutbeam said the University of Sydney was maintaining regular contact with the NSW Department of Health, and echoed the call from NSW Chief Health Officer, Dr. Kerry Chant, for people to protect themselves from the flu.

Measures recommended include getting vaccinated for seasonal influenza, covering mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, washing hands regularly, and staying at least one metre away from people who are unwell.

Professor Nutbeam also pointed out that while the official alert level has been raised, the number of confirmed cases in Australia remains low. The USU supports the Acting Vice-Chancellor’s advice, and also recommends keeping wary of hygiene and health.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recommends that Australians reconsider their need to travel to Mexico, and those intending to travel to other destinations should check the Smart Traveller web site:  

The University and the USU recommends avoiding all non-essential travel to affected countries until further advice.


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