UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control are reporting wide-spread flu at this time. Indications are that flu activity has not yet peaked as the number of flu cases continues to increase. Influenza A/H3 is the predominant strain at this time and is associated with more severe illness, especially in the elderly. In addition, Influenza B is also circulating on the University Park campus.
Both of these influenza viruses match strains included in this season's flu vaccine. Although it takes approximately two weeks to develop an adequate antibody response after receiving the flu vaccine, it is not too late to be vaccinated for flu season.
University Health Services will be offering three flu vaccine clinics this month:
-- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 14, in 205 Student Health Center
-- noon to 3 p.m. Jan. 15, in 205 Student Health Center
-- 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 28, in 205 Student Health Center
Students may schedule appointments online through myUHS at studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/myUHS or by calling (814) 863-0774. Walk-in appointments will also be accepted based on vaccine availability. The cost for the vaccine when received at one of the clinics is $13 and will be charged to the student's bursar account. If unable to make one of the clinics, students may also schedule an appointment with a nurse at a fee of $23.
The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the spread of flu. Other preventive measures include frequent hand hygiene, especially before eating or drinking and before touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and not sharing food and drinks with others. Avoiding individuals who have flu symptoms is also helpful, although challenging in public settings. Encouraging those who have not been vaccinated against the flu this season to receive the vaccine can also reduce its spread.