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UB Monitoring Absences from Swine Flu

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – UB officials are carefully monitoring the rise in flu cases on campus and trying to keep the number from rising higher. A limited number of doses of the H1N1 vaccine are being given to those who are most at risk.

UB had to cut its seasonal vaccination program short earlier this semester due to high demand. Locally, the H1N1 vaccine has been even more difficult to come by. According to officials, UB does now have a limited number of doses of the H1N1 vaccine. Joseph Brennan, Associate Vice President for Communication at UB, says they are reserving the vaccine for people in high-risk categories and other select populations.

Meanwhile, every day more and more students and faculty are staying home sick. That's happening at most schools. But at a university the size of UB it can be difficult to know how many are absent. And, more importantly, if those absences are having any impact. Brennan says that's why they've asked every department to report in every day their total number of absences.

Brennan says there is no specific percentage of absenteeism that would trigger the cancellation of classes or university activities. He says they would have to see, in his words, a "pretty significant disruption" to take those steps. But the university is advising any student, faculty or staff member who is feeling sick to stay home and telling others to practice extra sanitation precautions to stay healthy.

Faculty are being asked to be more lenient with students who have to miss class. Brennan says, fortunately, class materials also are often available on line.

Click the audio player above to hear Joyce Kryszak's full story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.