What are flulike symptoms?
Symptoms include a fever, coughing, body aches and vomiting.
What should I do if I have those symptoms?
Students are encouraged to call the Student Health Center at 882-7481 before they visit and check for updates at mualert.missouri.edu.
COLUMBIA — In response to the spreading H1N1 virus, MU installed hundreds of hand sanitizer dispensers in educational buildings and common areas this week.
Dispensers were installed last spring in dining and residence halls, but Campus Facilities ordered an additional 700 this week for other areas around MU. The cost of the additional hand sanitizers was $8,500.
As of Thursday, MU officials had installed most of the sanitizer, which is alcohol-based and highly flammable, but had not conducted any official checks to make sure the dispensers met International Fire Code standards. Campus Facilities received approval of plans from Columbia Fire Department Lt. Shawn McCollom and Peter Ashbrook, MU's environmental and health safety director.
"I gave them directions for the installation," said McCollom, a liaison to the university. "It's a remote possibility that they could be a fire hazard and be a potential, additional fuel for a fire already occurring."
Campus Facilities spokeswoman Karlan Seville said maintenance workers are aware of the regulations.
International Fire Code regulations require:
- a minimum separation of 48 inches between two dispensers
- a maximum capacity of 68 ounces per dispenser
- that they must not be installed adjacent to, above or below electric receptacles, switches or appliances
- that they must be installed between 42 and 48 inches above the floor
Seville said it would be a quick fix if there were a mistake.
"We have people on call 24 hours a day, so if for some reason there was a human error, it would be remedied immediately," she said.
McCollom said he is not aware of any formal checkup process.
"For the most part, (Campus Facilities) is kind of on their own," McCollom said. "I'm in and out of these buildings every day, so I'll see them eventually. I have no doubt they will follow this advice correctly."
Meanwhile, the Student Health Center has received more calls and visits from people with flulike symptoms. On Tuesday, the health center added extra personnel to answer phone calls. It had been working with four main operators and three nurses who were routed all calls dealing with flu symptoms.
"I think they're extremely busy," MU spokesman Christian Basi said. "But they are handling the phone calls as they come in."
Basi said he couldn't determine an accurate number of students calling or visiting with flulike symptoms, partly because some students are diagnosing themselves or going home without consulting the Student Health Center.