Freshers’ week facing cancellation over swine flu pandemic

The World Health Organisation has declared a swine flu pandemic, and the British government now expects the flu to hit 100,000 cases a day in August.

Universities up and down the country could postpone freshers’ weeks and shut down areas on campus if the swine flu pandemic worsens in September, according to the Guardian.

Universities are preparing emergency plans to shut down parts of their campuses in order to slow down the spread of the virus.

Almost two million students are expected to return to their courses this fall, possibly aiding the spread of infection. Contingency ideas mooted were podcasting lectures and quarantining infected students in halls of residence.

Should swine flu take a stranglehold on the population, university staffing levels could be drastically affected, bringing universities to their knees. Since the UK’s first confirmed case in later April there have been 31 deaths here. Health Secretary Andy Burnham said in a statement earlier this month that “we could see over 100,000 cases per day by August”.

The University of Lincoln is not taking any major action yet. “We are writing to all enrolling students advising them what to do if they suspect they have swine flu and that they will be able to enroll later on if they have symptoms and so have to stay at home. This is so that we can minimise the spread of infection,” a University of Lincoln spokeswoman told The Linc.

“We will also be working with the Students’ Union to provide information and advice to students when they are here, for example the importance of having “flu buddies” who can pick up medication and supplies if you fall ill,” the spokeswoman added.

For more information on swine flu, please see the government’s official swine flu website here. For advice from the University of Lincoln, please click for the portal here.


The University of Lincoln Students’ Union has also posted a swine flu notice on their website in association with the university.

One Response to Freshers’ week facing cancellation over swine flu pandemic

  1. Steven Greaves says:

    At present, all Fresher’s Week events and enrolments are going ahead as planned.

    It is however important that if any students (returning or new) are suffering from any of the symptoms associated with swine flu they must stay where they are until they have fully recovered. This will not affect their enrolment process or their accommodation arrangements.

    Obviously the health of students is a primary concern for the Students’ Union; as such, we are working closely with the university to monitor the spread of swine flu. We are also in close contact with all relevant local and national agencies to ensure that we have available the most up to date information to guide our actions.