World Health Organization raises pandemic level

June 10, 2009

The World Health Organization has declared a stage six pandemic, raising its pandemic level from stage five. The organization raised its level to stage six to reflect widespread worldwide cases of the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu.

Arizona State University health officials have expected the World Health Organization to declare a stage six pandemic because of the virus’ global spread. The designation of stage six doesn’t reflect a change in the severity of H1N1, but it does indicate that the disease is widespread. Download Full Image

The H1N1 virus has thus far produced mild flu symptoms, except in those with underlying medical conditions.

“H1N1 cases seen at ASU have responded well to anti-viral medications. We’ve had two confirmed cases and are preparing for students’ return in the fall,” says Dr. Allan Markus, ASU Campus Health Services director.

“The World Health Organization’s declaring a stage six pandemic should not alarm the university, since the strain is still mild at this point, and the declaration reflects the number of cases rather than the severity of the strain,” Markus says.

According to the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) the current H1N1 mortality rate is .14 percent in the United States and a worldwide mortality rate of .6 percent. The university will continue to maintain normal operations at this time.

“The Pandemic Flu Executive Committee has been and will continue to meet on a regular basis to address the needs of the university during a pandemic,” Markus says. “We’re developing a strategy for a large-scale fall vaccination campaign for students, faculty and staff for both the regular seasonal flu and also for the H1N1 virus, in anticipation of a vaccine currently under development.”

ASU's health officials are also urging students, faculty and staff to stock up on medical supplies such as acetaminophen (example: Tylenol) and ibuprofen (example: Motrin). According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for Colleges and Universities, students should have a two-week supply of over-the-counter medications to treat mild flu symptoms.

ASU is working with county and state health departments and following CDC guidance for higher education institutions. The university has put into action a robust plan that was developed three years ago to protect the health and safety of its students in case of a widespread flu virus outbreak.

ASU’s health officials are advising ill students with moderate to severe flu symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, headache, runny nose, general fatigue, muscle pains, diarrhea and vomiting to go to any one of the health centers located on their four campuses to be checked. ASU students, faculty and staff who are sick should avoid contact with large groups by staying home until they are better or their primary care doctor tells them that they are no longer infectious to others.ASU is advising those students or faculty who are traveling to other countries to confer with their health-care provider or visit the ASU Travel Clinic to get more information on health risks and prevention before they go.

More Information may be obtained about H1N1 from the Centers">">Centers for Disease Control, the World">">World Health Organization and the ASU Pandemic Flu web site (">">

Information about ASU’s Health Service can be found at ASU">">ASU Campus Health Service and at (480) 965-1102 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., weekdays. For an explanation of the World Health Organization‘s various Epidemic and Pandemic Alert system alerts and for the current status, visit the World">">World Health Organization - Alerts site.

Track & field post solid showings on opening day of NCAA meet

June 11, 2009

Despite a nearly three-hour rain and lightning delay, the Arizona State University track and field program took care of business on the first day of competition at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Ark., on Wednesday as six individuals and one relay advanced to the finals of their respective events, including Sarah">">Sarah Stevens, who qualified in a pair of events. The meet did not go off without a hitch as a three-hour weather delay pushed several events later into the evening with the final race ending around 1:30 a.m. CST.

Stevens, a 12-time All-American and the defending champion in the discus, opened her week with a third-place showing in the hammer qualifying at 62.74m (205-10) to earn one of 12 qualifying positions into Friday’s final. Later in the day, she took part in the shot put and, with one throw, met the automatic qualifying standard with her toss of 17.34m (56-10.75) to advance to Thursday’s final with the top mark in the competition. Download Full Image

Also in the field, Jason">">Jason Lewis competed in both events and qualified in the hammer as the 12th entrant to the finals with a toss of 64.08m (210-3) before placing 22nd in the shot put at 17.83m (58-06.00). Ryan">">Ryan Whiting, just like Stevens, qualified with the top mark in the shot put on his first toss, which measured 20.91m (68-07.25).

Charonda"> Williams advanced through two rounds of the 100m dash to reach the final as she clocked 11.32 in the first round before her 11.55 in the semifinals was good enough for the ninth and final position for the championship race. Dominique’ Maloy placed 19th in the first round of the 100m dash in 11.51 and was the first runner to not make the semifinal round. Both women ran with Kayla">">Kayla Sanchez and Jasmine">">J... Chaney to clock in at 44.15 and qualify for the final of the 4x100m relay with the seventh-best time on the day. The final woman to run was Jenna">">Jenna Kingma, who placed 20th in the semifinal of the 5,000m run with a time of 16:46.20.

The men competed in three races with one producing an advancer in Brandon">">B... Bethke, who ran 13:58.76 to place third overall in the 5,000m run semifinal. Allante">">A... Battle competed in the first round of the 100m dash and was 28th in 10.68. He then joined up with Michael">">M... Stokes, Lawrence">">L... Trice and Ray">">Ray Miller to run 40.37, the 17th-fastest time on the day in the 4x100m relay. Neither of the sprint entries advanced in their respective competitions.

The Sun Devils will have several athletes competing on Thursday, including: Stevens and Cj">">Cj Navarro in the women’s discus (qualifying); Whiting and Lewis in the men’s discus (qualifying); Stevens and Whiting in the shot put finals; Chaney in the 100m hurdles (first round); Williams and Maloy in the women’s 200m dash (first round); Battle in the men’s 200m dash (first round); the men’s and women’s 4x400m relay (semifinal) and Ali">">Ali Kielty in the final of the women’s 10,000m run.

NCAA Championships Results - Day 1
Wednesday, June 10 • Fayetteville, Ark.
Women’s 100m Dash - First Round
11. Charonda"> Williams - 11.32 (qualifies for semifinal)
19. Dominique’ Maloy - 11.51 (dnq)

Women’s 100m Dash - Semifinal
9. Charonda"> Williams - 11.55 (qualifies for final)

Women’s 5,000m Run - Semifinal
20. Jenna">">Jenna Kingma - 16:46.20 (dnq)

Women’s 4x100m Relay - Semifinal
7. D. Maloy, K. Sanchez, J. Chaney, C. Williams - 44.15 (qualifies for final)

Women’s Shot Put - Qualifying
1. Sarah">">Sarah Stevens - 17.34m (56-10.75)(qualifies for final)

Women’s Hammer - Qualifying
3. Sarah">">Sarah Stevens - 62.74m (205-10)(qualifies for final)

Men’s 100m Dash - First Round
28. Allante">">A... Battle - 10.68 (dnq)

Men’s 5,000m Run - Semifinal
3. Brandon">">B... Bethke - 13:58.76 (qualifies for final)

Men’s 4x100m Relay - Semifinal
17. M. Stokes, A. Battle, L. Trice, R. Miller - 40.37 (dnq)

Men’s Shot Put - Qualifying
1. Ryan">">Ryan Whiting - 20.91m (68-07.25)(qualifies for final)
22. Jason">">Jason Lewis - 17.83m (58-06.00)(dnq)

Men’s Hammer - Qualifying
12. Jason">">Jason Lewis - 64.08m (210-03)(qualifies for final)