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H1N1 Questions and Answers

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We know that students and their families are asking questions about the H1N1 flu virus and its spread in North America.

The University of Winnipeg is committed to providing you with factual and up-to-date information.

The safety and health of all our students faculty and staff is our number one priority.

'WHO' said What
On Thursday, June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement to raise the alert of the H1N1 pandemic. The raising of the alert level does not mean the virus is more dangerous, just that it is more widespread. The WHO did not recommend closing borders nor did they restrict the movement of people, goods or services.

The Government of Canada
The Government of Canada, has responded to WHO with a press release that reassured Canadians that it will continue to implement the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan in close coordination with domestic and international partners in order to address H1N1 flu virus.

“Since the beginning, Canada has taken decisive action to address the H1N1 Flu Virus and protect Canadians,” said Minister of Health, Leona Aglukkaq. “Today’s decision by the WHO does not change our approach. Entering Phase Six means we will build on the surveillance and management measures that are already in place under the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan.”

Manitoba Health
Manitoba Health said “The World Health Organization’s decision to go to pandemic level six has not changed Manitoba’s current response to H1N1 flu. The amount and severity of disease in Manitoba will continue to guide the public health response.”

Here are the most common questions we are hearing.

1) What is the H1N1 flu situation in Winnipeg?

 As of June 2009, less than 1% of the population of Winnipeg has been recorded as having contracted the H1N1 virus. As with any influenza type, most cases are expected to be mild and result in a full recovery.

 The health-care system in Winnipeg and in other areas of Manitoba is well-prepared to treat people showing symptoms of respiratory illnesses.

2) How is the H1N1 flu virus affecting activities at the University of Winnipeg?

All classes and activities at The University of Winnipeg are operating as normal.

We are monitoring the H1N1 influenza situation daily. A campus response and planning team, led by Vice President, Human Resources, Laurel Repski, and Associate Vice President International, Neil Besner, is meeting regularly to assess the situation at the University of Winnipeg. We work closely with provincial health authorities to stay fully informed.

3) What services are available for international students concerned about H1N1?

Students arriving at The University of Winnipeg from other countries are able to purchase health insurance with their registration.  This means they can go to any doctor, clinic or hospital in Manitoba and be fully covered. Our hospitals are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

As a proactive step and to minimize concerns, The University of Winnipeg will have an on-call Public Health Nurse starting Monday, June 15, 2009 to address any health concerns.

Students, and home stay parents can also email Ms Tammy Sigurdur, Director, English language and International Languages Programs t.sigurdur@uwinnipeg.ca,  directly with any questions or concerns and she will be happy to reply to you as quickly as possible.

We understand there have been many stories in the news about the H1N1 flu and that can cause anxiety. That’s why it is so important to consider the facts. We believe the University of Winnipeg is a safe place for students and the risk of H1N1 infection is minimal.