Laurier launches flu portal for the university community

By Idil Herzi

Wilfrid Laurier University has launched a “flu declaration” website for students, faculty and staff to report absence from class, work or teaching due to influenza or influenza-like symptoms.

Students are being asked to visit www.wlu.ca/h1n1 and use their Novell login to identify the days missed online.

Individuals who would normally seek medical attention should do so; however, a doctor’s note is not necessary as a means to help prevent the spread of H1N1.

“We want to be able to preserve the healthcare resources for the people who would normally be seeing the doctor because they’re feeling ill for treatment,” said manager of health services at Laurier Karen Ostrander.

“For the most part, flu’s are self-resolving. But if they’re having significant symptoms or if they have secondary health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, those are the folks that we want to make sure that were able to see,” Ostrander added.

Students can request academic accommodations but must complete the form within 24 hours of their return to class.

The information gathered on the flu declaration website will be used to find patterns as well as gain information about the incidents where the flu could have been exposed to the student body.

Laurier staff and faculty should also use the website to declare missed work and teaching due to the flu.

Staff and faculty declarations will be used for statistical tracking.

In April 2009 Laurier activated its Pandemic Plan, which ensures that the university has the means to respond appropriately if a pandemic outbreak occurs.

To help combat the spread of the H1N1 virus the university has installed hand sanitizer across campus. When vaccinations become available Laurier will pair with the region to hold on-campus clinics.

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