News Briefs | Oct. 7, 2009


CDC visits campus, impressed with flu Web site

A communications staff person from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention visited Washington University last week, said Alan Glass, director of the Habif Health and Wellness Center and president-elect of the American College Health Association.

The CDC staff member was especially interested in the University’s flu Web site, He was also interested in the University’s hand-washing information campaign, “Keep the Flu out of Washington U.” and the community messaging being conducted, including the frequently asked questions on the site.

According to Glass, the numbers of confirmed cases of swine flu on campus are continuing to rise as expected. All of the cases have been mild in severity, and all of the ill students have either recovered or are currently recovering.

The number of confirmed cases at Missouri colleges since the beginning of the ACHA’s tracking system stands at 1,007. There were 233 new cases during the week of Sept. 18, according to the most recent college swine flu tracking report.

The University is currently undergoing plans for major H1N1 vaccination clinics. The details of the clinics will be released once Student Health Services finds out the date on which it will receive the H1N1 vaccination. (David Messenger)


Pentagon reaches out to universities

In a new move since the Obama administration took office, the new director of the Pentagon’s research department has made an effort to include universities in government research projects.

In the past few years, the Pentagon has shied away from seeking the involvement of universities.

The new director, Regina Dugan, who heads the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), recently made visits to Stanford, University of California, Los Angeles, UC Berkeley and Caltech.

The Bush administration’s appointee to the post, Anthony Tether, had been more focused on classified research and was involved in multiple controversial projects. Under Tether’s direction, funding for university research slipped significantly from $214 million to $123 million, creating a less-than-friendly relationship between DARPA and research universities. (Michelle Merlin)


Death pilot will remain in prison

A Spanish judge made the decision to order Julio Alberto Poch, an Argentine death pilot, to stay in prison for the time being. It may take up to several months until a decision is made about whether to have Poch extradited to Argentina.
Poch was arrested for playing a role in the death flights during Argentina’s “dirty war.” During these flights, live prisoners whose political ideas did not coincide with those of the government were thrown out of airplanes.
Poch is specifically charged for flying the planes over the Atlantic Ocean or the Rio Plata while blindfolded or drugged prisoners were thrown out of the aircraft.
Poch is currently a pilot of, a Dutch airline. He was arrested while waiting during a layover in Valencia, Spain last month. (Lauren Olens)

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