email to all-nmsu
April 27, 2009
TO: The NMSU Campus Community
FROM: Robert Moulton, Interim Executive Vice President and
SUBJECT: Swine Influenza Outbreaks
Reports of Swine Influenza outbreaks in the U.S., Mexico and elsewhere
have yielded questions at NMSU regarding ongoing operations and
precautions. As with any situation of this nature, the university is
closely monitoring developments. Locally, there is currently no health
emergency. The NMSU Communicable Disease Preparedness Committee has been
meeting on a regular basis for several years and the response plan can be
. We also are authorizing
the purchase of hand sanitizers, tissues, counter top cleaners and
similar supplies to support workplace hygiene.
We are not aware of any confirmed cases of Swine Influenza in New Mexico
and confirmed cases in the U.S. are still relatively few. While the
situation is still evolving, we want to make information available to our
campuses and encourage everyone to be aware of precautions they can
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, people cannot get swine influenza
from eating properly cooked pork or pork products. Most influenza
viruses, including the swine flu virus, are not foodborne.
Based on information from the CDC as well as NMSU’s Medical Director for
the University Health Centers, Dr. Benjamin Diven, the university
recommends the following measures to prevent the transmission of any type
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze; throw
the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough
or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective. (Check to make
sure your sanitizers contain at least 63 percent
- If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink
plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
Dr. Diven indicates that the most common symptoms of influenza are high
fever, cough, sore throat and extreme fatigue. Symptoms are similar to a
common cold in its milder forms and are treated in a similar manner
with over-the-counter medications and rest.
The vast majority of people recover without complications, but in all
influenza outbreaks a very small number of people will develop
complications and become quite ill. This outbreak is behaving the same as
The university is not canceling classes or any large events at this time,
however, we are encouraging departments to notify your departmental
administration if you notice high levels of absenteeism, so we can
continue to monitor the situation closely.
The NMSU Student Health Center Web site is always a good resource for
information and specifically addresses issues regarding travel. You can
find that site at
Additional information is available through the Cooperative Extension
National information about the outbreak can be obtained from the CDC Web