In April 2009, the World Health Organization announced the emergence of a novel influenza
A H1N1 virus. Through the use of an on-line survey, we aimed to measure the awareness and receptiveness of staff and students toward university
information broadcasts about the H1N1 situation.
The survey was available online from June 29 to September 30, 2009. The sample included faculty, general staff, and students at a university
in Sydney, Australia.
A total of 2 883 surveys were completed. The majority (88.4%, 2549/2883) reported seeing an information broadcast. Significantly more general staff reported receiving an e-mail than faculty or students. Of the students who reported receiving it, only 53.6% (1006/1876) found it useful. All 3 participant categories nominated e-mails as the most appropriate way the university
could use for communicating health issues.
Communicating effectively to staff and students about the spread of flu on campus presents a challenge, as university
officials seek to navigate a middle ground between inciting unnecessary fear and promoting complacency. Electronic communication
may be the most efficient way of reaching as many staff and students as possible.