Albany, NY –
In order to get out in front of a potential pandemic flu outbreak, The State
University of New York has undertaken a comprehensive, collaborative
system-wide campaign to prepare for all forms of flu; to educate about the
virus and to respond effectively to parents, students, employees and the
response to all forms of the flu has been focused on three critical themes: Prepare,
Educate, and Respond,” said Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Our first priority is
to help keep students, faculty and staff healthy and safe. When there is
illness, SUNY’s advanced planning and preparation aims to minimize it.”
Chancellor Zimpher stressed that the potential for flu events to escalate
rapidly requires a coordinated and collaborative response across the 64 SUNY
campuses, as well as with state and federal agencies.
All SUNY policies
and procedures undertaken to prepare, educate, and respond to pandemic flu follow
medical guidelines from The Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of
Health and the New York State Department of Health.
"Chancellor Zimpher's proactive efforts are a model for
all academic institutions and will provide valuable situational awareness for
SUNY campuses, maximizing the prevention of outbreaks and minimizing spread of
illness in campus communities. We are working with SUNY and providing guidance.
Together we are enhancing students' access to flu vaccinations on SUNY
campuses. We look forward to collaborating in SUNY's surveillance efforts. The
data being collected by SUNY and shared with the New York State Department of
Health will greatly enhance our ability to provide consultation and will
facilitate rapid response when it is warranted," said State Health
Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D.
SUNY’s Three-pronged approach to pandemic flu
created a pandemic flu website last year, which is updated daily – http://www.suny.edu/h1n1
- A University-wide
planning group was convened last year to provide system-wide guidance on
critical issues pertaining to pandemic flu and other crises.
- At the
Chancellor’s request, campuses are reporting cases of “Influenza-Like Illness”
(ILI) centrally via a tool developed by SUNY System.
monitors daily campus trends and is reporting overall illnesses to the NYS
Department of Health.
- To date,
the daily reported new cases of ILI are minimal. SUNY educates nearly
440,000 students across 64 campuses. Average reported daily ILI cases thus far have amounted to less than 0.02 percent of that population (average of
have been no SUNY-related deaths reported from ILI or H1N1.
Chancellor has formed an H1N1 Medical Advisory Group that includes international
experts on infectious diseases and public health. The group provides
assistance to campuses and advises the Chancellor.
- SUNY held
a symposium on H1N1 on September 14th in Syracuse that
attracted 167 participants from 54 SUNY colleges. Speakers from the Centers
for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Health provided information
and counsel, and a higher education expert from Carnegie Mellon University described their planning and response to a severe outbreak of H1N1 on that
campuses have been taking preventive steps to help educate students,
faculty and staff regarding how to limit the spread of all types of flu.
campus websites for H1N1;
ongoing meetings of campus emergency and planning groups;
education and outreach to their campus communities;
respiratory protection efforts;
inventories of essential items, such as face masks and hand sanitizers;
to use their online course management systems to continue instruction;
points of distribution for vaccines;
alternative housing for ill students.
campaigns help educate people about how to properly wash hands, and cough
and sneeze to limit germ spread.
flu shots are being offered on campuses.
NY-Alert allows campuses to send text, email, voice messaging directly to
students in the event of a emergency. SUNY NY-Alert is the largest such
effort in the country. This system has been in place for more than two
years now and enjoys nearly 100% campus participation.
- SUNY has
launched a comprehensive system of daily reporting to assist campuses in monitoring
Influenza Like Illness across the system.
About the State University of New York
University of New York is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating nearly 440,000 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs
on 64 campuses. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu
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