Emory University officials in Atlanta moved 50 students diagnosed with swine flu into a separate dorm this week as part of a quarantine that includes school personnel bringing food to the sick.
It’s a dramatic start to a flu season as cities, states, and the federal government ratchet up warnings and precautions against the H1N1 virus.
On Tuesday, President Obama said that while swine flu vaccine will be voluntary, the government will “strongly recommend” that people get it (the first batches of the new vaccine are expected in October). On Wednesday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said people “should expect a big influx” of cases in coming months.
Given that the swine flu has not been as serious as first feared, the administration has urged that schools strongly resist closing their doors.
But at least one state, Massachusetts, is looking at more drastic measures to contain a possible pandemic. The “Pandemic Response Bill,” which passed the Senate in April and is now awaiting House approval, would allow police officers, under orders from health officials, to arrest those who refuse to be quarantined.