NTNU takes precautionary steps to limit potential swine flu spread

(12.08.2009) Now along with sale items and daily specials, NTNU cafeterias and food shops will advertise precautions that staff, students and visitors can use to help limit any potential spread of swine flu, or influenza H1N1, during the upcoming school year.

Although swine flu is not currently a problem on the NTNU campus, school officials wanted to take preventative and precautionary steps in advance of the arrival of the school’s 20,000 students in mid-August. First-year students were officially welcomed to NTNU on Tuesday, August 11 in a matriculation ceremony. At that time, NTNU’s rector, Torbjørn Digernes, encouraged students to take simple precautions that are shown to help limit the spread of any infectious illness.

Encouraging good hygiene habits
Swine flu is currently found in 168 nations across the globe and is expected by world health officials to increase in prevalence as the autumn and winter traditional flu season advances.

The posters hung in cafeterias and other meeting places illustrate four good habits that people should use to limit the spread of the flu. These are: Use disposable tissues, cough or sneeze in the crook of your elbow, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and disinfect your hands if washing isn’t possible. Accompanying the posters are dispensers for waterless hand disinfectant. Although the posters are in Norwegian, they are clearly illustrated with photographs that illustrate the measures.

Norwegian government updates
Norwegian health authorities believe that as much as 30 per cent of the population will contract swine influenza, or influenza A (H1N1), as it is officially known. The government has also created a special website with information and updates on the illness in Norwegian; the English version of this website contains basic questions and answers about the illness but is not at the moment regularly updated. The best resource for up-to-date information in English about what is happening in Europe, including Norway, is the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.