Swine flu sure sounds scary. But Yale has spent the better part of the last two years preparing for an even scarier kind of flu — bird flu.

Since the bird flu scare that swept the world in 2006, Vice President and Secretary Linda Lorimer has led a team charged with making preparations in case a pandemic bird flu ever reaches Yale’s campus. Yale has even made plans to have hundreds of hospital beds set up, if necessary, in the William K. Lanman Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

Nobody, so far, thinks that those measures will need to be taken as a result of the swine flu.

“We are now responding in a concerted and expansive way to make sure that we are responsive to the challenges being presented today,” Lorimer said in an interview. “But the challenges are less daunting than what our planning parameters had been for bird flu. I don’t want people to think we’re being cavalier … we are working hard now.”

Indeed, Lorimer said she is meeting regularly with the University’s Emergency Response Team and is meeting today with deans and directors of the various University schools and offices and with residential college deans and masters.

While she said there is “no concern about public assembly at this point,” Lorimer added that undergraduates should try and get as much sleep as possible. Even if today is Spring Fling.