H1N1 Pandemic Plans in Place
By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Medical experts are helping Oklahomans prepare for an H1N1 pandemic. The OU Health Sciences Center is starting with its employees and students.
It can also be used for local businesses and schools.
Medical staff at OU Health Sciences Center has been keeping close tabs on the H1N1 virus. They want to make sure everyone on campus and the public is protected.
There are thousands of people on the OU Health Sciences Center campus on any given day. That's why a potential virus pandemic has health officials here looking ahead.
Many are concerned about how the H1N1 virus will impact them. Campus management put together a plan to share with staff and students. They started by making sure everyone is educated on how the virus spreads, infection control and when illness strikes.
"What do you do when say three or four out of 10 in your office or in your clinic are sick at home with the flu?" said Dr. Douglas Drevets. "How do you staff that? How do you deal with the HR issues?"
Administrators have answered those questions and employees are happy to know there is a plan in place.
"The main thing as an employee that I'm concerned about is if I'm sick or I’m ill that they are making policy changes for employees and students that you may need to be off to not infect other people," employee Radawn Williams said.
Now students and staff wait for the H1N1 vaccine. The first to get the shot will be those who are at risk and employees who deal directly with the public; the same policy for the seasonal flu shot.
"It is helpful for us to find out what's been happening with the seasonal flu vaccine so that we have the confidence in what will happen with the upcoming swine flu vaccine," student Jennifer Mulens said.
Campus administrators are not sure when they'll get the H1N1 vaccine. They're waiting for word from the state health department, which could be any day, and say they will likely have very little time to put together vaccine clinics for students and staff; another reason why they want to be prepared.
The OU Health Sciences Center H1N1 preparedness plan can also be used for businesses and schools.