A letter to the University community

8:06 p.m., April 29, 2009----To the University of Delaware Community:

Ten UD students ill with flu-like symptoms and treated at Student Health Services have been given a probable diagnosis of swine flu.

While the Centers for Disease Control have not yet confirmed any swine flu diagnoses, I have no doubt that these suspected cases are causing a great deal of concern among the entire campus community. The University's first priority is the health and well-being of our students and employees. Therefore, we are working closely with the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) to safeguard student, staff, and faculty health. We have taken, and will continue to take, every action that DPH recommends.

Throughout the day today, students visited on-campus clinics for swine flu screenings -- one in Student Health Services and one in the Carpenter Sports Building (the “Little Bob”), which was staffed by state health officials. By this evening, medical personnel at both locations had screened hundreds of students, giving appropriate care to anyone who presented with flu symptoms of any kind.

I continue to urge anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms to avoid close contact with others as much as possible -- that means do not go to class or to work -- and seek medical attention immediately. Students exhibiting symptoms are advised to visit one of the two clinics. Student Health Services in Laurel Hall is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the clinic at the Little Bob will re-open tomorrow at 10 a.m. Meanwhile, UD faculty and staff experiencing symptoms are advised to contact their doctor.

Students and parents who have any concerns about swine flu should call Student Health Services at 302-831-2226. Medical and UD personnel will be on-hand throughout the night to answer questions.

After consulting with Delaware's public health officials, the University has decided to remain open and hold classes. We will continue to monitor the situation very carefully and, if the advice of DPH changes or circumstances warrant, we will revisit that decision.

I deeply appreciate the efforts of everyone who has mobilized to screen students for the virus and calm anxieties surrounding the diagnoses. UD's Student Health Services and the Delaware Division of Public Health are working very closely with one another to screen as many students as possible, as quickly as possible.

We will be communicating with the entire University community as soon as any new developments arise. Updates will continue to be posted on UD's home page -- www.udel.edu -- and I urge you to visit it for new information on the virus and implications for campus activities.

Patrick T. Harker