This week, vaccine manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur announced a voluntary, non-safety-related recall of four lots of pediatric H1N1 flu vaccine after it was discovered that the vaccine no longer met potency specifications. None of the doses administered at Penn State are involved in the recall. Children already vaccinated from these lots do not need to be revaccinated, because the small decrease in antigen content is unlikely to result in a significant reduction in immune response. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control's Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/syringes_qa.htm online.
University Health Services (UHS) at University Park saw a decline in influenza-like illness (ILI) during the week ending Dec. 5. This decline is consistent with current illness patterns throughout the United States. Public health officials predict that another wave of H1N1 influenza is likely later this winter or spring. Getting vaccinated now will prevent illness from H1N1 should the virus cause further outbreaks.
With two epidemics of novel H1N1 flu in 2009, hand washing has been in the news often, but there are many other reasons for keeping our hands clean besides colds and flu. Flu viruses are more likely to reach us through the air after someone with the flu coughs or sneezes, but viruses that cause the common cold are often found on surfaces that we touch, including other people's hands. We pick up the virus on our hands, then if we touch our nose, eyes or mouth we can infect ourselves, notes The Medical Minute, a service of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center.
You might have seen the big green germ hanging out at the HUB-Robeson Center on Penn State's University Park campus recently. In fact, you might have hugged it (many people did), or the germ might have talked to you about how dangerous it can be, especially in large groups of people. That germ costume is giving four students a unique learning opportunity and a chance to help others stay healthy. It is one aspect of the students' internship with the Infection Control and Prevention department of University Health Services (UHS), which also gives them a chance to help coordinate and run vaccination clinics and monitor the spread of H1N1.
Thanksgiving is a time to share, but don't share the flu. University Health Services (UHS) encourages Penn State students to get vaccinated before they return home for the holiday break. A clinic will be held in 205 Student Health Center on Penn State's University Park campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 17, to distribute free H1N1 nasal spray vaccine to students 24 years of age and younger and without any chronic health condition. Appointments must be scheduled online through the UHS Web site at http://www.sa.psu.edu/uhs/basics/online_access.cfm. H1N1 vaccinations are free of charge.
A clinic will be held in 205 Student Health Center on Penn State's University Park campus from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, to distribute H1N1 nasal spray vaccine to students 24 years of age and younger. Appointments must be scheduled online through the University Health Services (UHS) Web site at http://www.sa.psu.edu/uhs/basics/online_access.cfm. H1N1 vaccinations are free of charge.
University Health Services (UHS) clinical staff saw more than 300 students with influenza-like illness (ILI) during the week ending Oct. 24, 2009. Over 1,700 patients have been seen for ILI since the beginning of the fall semester on the University Park campus.
It's just about that time again -- flu season is right around the corner. With the emergence of the H1N1 flu ("swine flu", novel influenza A (H1N1)) earlier this year and an expected resurgence this fall, it's even more important to know what you can do now to protect yourself and those around you from getting sick.
Two students at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, have tested positive for the H1N1 virus. These two students were among four who tested positive for Type A influenza at the college's Health and Wellness Center last week. Further testing, done via a nasal swab, confirmed the flu as H1N1. The college is awaiting test results on the remaining two students.
University Health Services (UHS) saw a tenfold increase in patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) during the week of Sept. 7. On Monday, Sept. 14, more than 60 students with ILI were seen -- more than on any previous day. As the number of cases increase, UHS reminds ill students that most people who get H1N1 influenza recover completely with rest and self-care, and do not need to see a health care provider.
Two students at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, have tested positive for Type A influenza", suggesting they may be the college's first cases of H1N1 virus.
One student was tested in her hometown over the weekend and is remaining at home to rest and recover. The other student was tested this morning at the college's Health and Wellness Center and is also returning home, following recommended self-isolation guidelines. A confirmation of their respective diagnoses is expected within the next 48-72 hours.
University Health Services (UHS) saw an increase in influenza-like illness this week. To date, UHS has recommended self-isolation to more than 30 students -- more than half of these cases occurring since Saturday. UHS followed its own advice today, postponing the Sept. 9 Health Fair to prevent unnecessary exposure of well students to sick students. As the number of ill students increases, it is important for those who are sick to self-isolate. Sick individuals should not report to work, or attend classes and other group activities (including athletic events, concerts, etc). Students should return home to recuperate, if possible. Once recovered and fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication), students may return to normal activities.
Penn State University Health Services has postponed the health fair scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9, as a precautionary measure to help avoid the spread of H1N1. "We're starting to see cases of H1N1 here on the University Park campus. Since we're urging those who are sick to self-isolate, it doesn't make sense for us to invite well students into the building where sick students are coming for treatment," said Margaret Spear, director of University Health Services (UHS). "Compared to some colleges and universities, the number of students we are diagnosing with influenza like illness is low but we thought it was prudent to postpone the health fair as a precautionary measure." Spear emphasizes that frequent hand-washing is the most effective habit people can practice to help curb the spread of the flu. She added that although it will be challenging, the Centers for Disease Control strongly recommends that sick individuals self-isolate, or stay away from healthy people. For more information on H1N1 and Penn State, visit http://flu.psu.edu online.
During the first week of fall classes, University Health Services (UHS) saw a small number of students with "influenza-like illness." H1N1 tests were sent to the state health department for confirmation; two tests have come back positive. The number of students with flu-like illness is expected to increase in the coming weeks. A number of students, staff and parents have e-mailed UHS over the past weeks with concerns about H1N1. This week's H1N1 update focuses on some of the most frequently asked questions that UHS has received.
As a precautionary measure in the event of significant disruption due to the H1N1 flu, Information Technology Services has compiled information on technology resources that would allow faculty and students to continue their teaching and learning activities with minimal disruption even if classroom attendance or traditional instruction were not possible. These include ANGEL, the Blogs at Penn State, Adobe Connect desktop videoconferencing, and several ways to create prerecorded lectures. For details, visit http://tlt.its.psu.edu/profiles/flu online. In addition, faculty can find recommendations for an emergency statement to include in a course syllabus at http://ets.tlt.psu.edu/learningdesign/syllabus/content online.