H1N1 Update: Sept. 22, 2009

September 22, 2009

University Health Services (UHS) has seen over 400 cases of influenza-like illness (ILI) since the start of the fall semester. All of these students have recovered or are recovering without complications. Approximately 50 percent of ill students living in residence halls have followed UHS' advice to recover at home; 25 percent of ill students have used residence hall isolation spaces.

Many students with ILI can manage their illness without seeing a health care provider. Self assessment guidance is available on the UHS Web site at http://www.sa.psu.edu/uhs/pdf/do_i_have_flu.pdf. However, students who are pregnant, have significant underlying health conditions such as asthma or diabetes or are immune compromised are at risk for developing complications from H1N1 influenza and should contact their health care provider if they have symptoms of the flu or have been exposed to the flu.

Students also should be aware of the danger signs that require medical attention. These include difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, sudden dizziness, confusion, severe or persistent vomiting, flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and a more severe cough, severe headache or neck stiffness, and difficulty swallowing fluids. Students experiencing any of these symptoms should call UHS or another health care provider for evaluation.

Vaccination is recommended for both seasonal flu and H1N1. It is possible to contract both the seasonal flu and H1N1 flu since exposure to one does not give immunity to the other. UHS is partnering with Maxim Health Services to provide seasonal flu vaccinations at the HUB-Robeson Center during October and November.  A listing of dates and locations is available on the UHS Web site at http://www.sa.psu.edu/uhs/basics/flu_vaccine.cfm. Key facts about seasonal flu vaccination are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.

A vaccine for H1N1 is in development and is expected later this fall. UHS has applied to act as a distribution site for the H1N1 vaccine. UHS will send out notifications to all eligible students as more information about vaccine availability is known. The CDC provides H1N1 vaccine information at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/vaccine_safety_qa.htm.

For tips on what to do if you have the flu, download the UHS flyer at http://www.sa.psu.edu/uhs/pdf/if_you_have_flu.pdf. UHS's Self Care Guide for Flu is available at http://www.sa.psu.edu/uhs/pdf/self_care_flu.pdf.

For more information on Penn State's preparation for H1N1 this fall, visit http://www.flu.psu.edu. General information about H1N1 influenza is available at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/general_info.htm.

Last Updated April 18, 2017