Over the past 10 days, the Office of International Programs has closely monitored the increased number of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) cases around the world, in the areas surrounding our sites in Mexico, Central America and Namibia and in areas where upcoming Augsburg Abroad trips are scheduled.
The health and well-being of our current and future students and our staff and faculty members at all of our sites is our top priority. Moving forward, we will continue to monitor conditions especially in Mexico and we will not hesitate to make whatever programming changes are necessary.
With the World Health Organization continuing to refrain from issuing travel restrictions, the Center for Global Education will hold all of its summer programs as scheduled. That includes programs at our site in Cuernavaca, Mexico. In addition, Augsburg Abroad trips to Italy, New Zealand, and Egypt will go on as scheduled.
This decision is based on several factors:
– The number of H1N1 cases across the globe have not expanded at a exponential pace. The number of cases in Mexico is decreasing and there have not been signs of rapid growth there.
– Cuernavaca is in a state of Mexico that has only had four confirmed cases of H1N1, all of which have been successfully treated.
– Traditionally, students spend their first week in Mexico in Mexico City, but that part of the program has been at least postponed.
– Our students in Cuernavaca have access to masks and oseltamivir, an anti-viral drug used to fight the H1N1 virus.
– Upon their arrival in Cuernavaca, students will be urged to let the staff know immediately if they come down with any flu-like symptoms.
– The sites for the faculty-led Augsburg Abroad trips have seen a very small numbers of confirmed H1N1 cases.
If students have concerns or fears about Mexico and the H1N1 virus, we will gladly allow them to transfer by May 15 into our Spanish program in Guatemala, which begins on May 31.
We are in daily contact with our staff in Mexico and we will not hesitate to reroute or cancel programs as needed. As always, we continue to monitor all developments around the world and how they could impact our international sites.