H1N1 Update: Jan. 11, 2010

Although the United States is currently seeing a decline in influenza-like illness (ILI), other regions of the world including parts of Europe, Asia and the Caribbean still are seeing widespread illness. Public health officials predict that another wave of H1N1 influenza is likely in the U.S. later this winter or spring. An adequate immune response to the vaccine takes approximately 14 days. Getting vaccinated now will prevent illness from H1N1 should the virus cause further outbreaks.

It also is a good time to get vaccinated against seasonal flu -- this is the time of year that seasonal influenza outbreaks occur and students are vulnerable to both H1N1 and seasonal influenza.

Penn State University Health Services (UHS) strongly encourages all students to get vaccinated; students involved in THON in particular should make a point of receiving a vaccination. Children who are cancer survivors and may have weakened immune systems are especially vulnerable to influenza. Students who are dancing or working at THON and spending time with Four Diamonds children at events leading up to THON should consider the safety of these children while deciding about their own vaccination.

“Students involved in THON need to do the socially responsible thing and get vaccinated against H1N1 and seasonal influenza to help protect the kids," said Margaret Spear, UHS director.

Vaccination is available to all Penn State students by appointment through UHS. The H1N1 vaccine is free; the cost of the seasonal flu vaccine is $26. Students can make an appointment to receive the vaccination at http://www.sa.psu.edu/uhs/basics/online_access.cfm online.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides information that can help students make informed decisions about vaccination at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm and http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa_pub.htm online.

For the latest news and information about flu preparedness and prevention at Penn State, visit http://flu.psu.edu/ online.
 

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Last Updated January 21, 2010