Colleges Brace For H1N1

Look To Australia For Advice

Colorado colleges and universities are bracing for the arrival of the H1N1 flu virus and are looking to Australia for advice.

The Australians are already in their winter flu season.

According to CU spokesman Bronson Hillard, the flu has been widely reported in the country and while it is easily spread it is not described as severe.

Hilliard said the university has been building a strategy for the flu since last May when two students tested positive for the virus.

"The main tool in our arsenal is getting people aware of how it works, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they get it," he said.

CU has 30,000 masks available if they are needed.

Hilliard said infected students will be told to stay in their dorm rooms and food will be delivered to them.

The vaccine, when available, will be encouraged, but at this point, it will not be mandatory, he said.

Colorado State University is pursuing a similar strategy.

Dr. Jane Higgins said planning began several years ago when fears were first raised about the Avian Bird Flu.

"As always with new diseases there is a lot of fear and part of our job is to minimize the fear and maximize the education," she said.

On Thursday afternoon the University of Denver held a special meeting with administrators to discuss the school's strategy.