This site provides information about the UW Superior's planning and preparations for a pandemic event, and links to other resources.
The world's public health agencies have advised all states, cities, workplaces, and individuals to be begin preparing for a pandemic influenza (flu), which means a global outbreak of a disease. You've heard or read a lot about seasonal flu and avian flu in the news media, but few people understand that pandemic flu, seasonal flu and avian flu all have different meanings. The public health agencies (www.flu.gov) have defined the flu terms as:
Seasonal (or common) flu is a respiratory illness that can be transmitted person to person. Most people have some immunity, and a vaccine is available.
Avian (or bird) flu is caused by influenza viruses that occur naturally among wild birds. The H5N1 variant is deadly to domestic fowl and can be transmitted from birds to humans. There is no human immunity and no vaccine is available.
Pandemic flu is virulent human flu that causes a global outbreak, or pandemic, of serious illness. Because there is little natural immunity, the disease can spread easily from person to person. Currently, there is no pandemic flu.
Though it's not known when or what novel strain of virus will strike, once a pandemic influenza begins, it could spread rapidly across the country as it did in the three pandemics of the 20th Century: in 1918, 1957 and 1968. These pandemics caused millions of deaths in the United States and other countries.
A pandemic influenza outbreak could last for weeks or months, causing numerous problems for UW Superior and our surrounding communities. Classes might be suspended. Numerous employees might be unable or unwilling to come to work. Major disruptions could occur not only in university services, but also among vendors, health service providers and local government. Presently, there isn't a pandemic flu in progress in the United States or elsewhere in the world.
UW Superior's Pandemic Emergency Plan is one step in a series of steps necessary to prepare the university to respond to potentially widespread and lengthy outbreak of communicable disease, should one occur. For more information about UW Superior's Pandemic Flu Planning, please contact the Environmental Health and Safety Office, ext. 8073