Nurse advises simple steps to protect campus community from influenza

May 04, 2009

With more than 200 confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) in the United States, the campus nurse at Penn State DuBois is taking steps to keep the campus informed and prepared in the event that the disease spreads closer to home.

Campus nurse Fran Vargas keeps daily updates posted on the bulletin board outside of her office in the Hiller Building. She also keeps the campus community updated through email. Vargas continues to track the spread of the virus across the nation. While there is no cause for alarm on campus or in the region at this point, there has been a confirmed case of H1N1 virus in Philadelphia. The man is recovering and Vargas says it's best to be cautious.

"Washing your hands frequently is the absolute best thing you can do," Vargas says, noting this simple and seemingly obvious rule is still often overlooked. However, it is still the best defense against many illnesses. "Viruses can live on things like door knobs for hours. If you pick up a virus and touch your face or rub your eye you're infected. You just need to keep your hands clean."

According to Vargas, 36,000 people die of a conventional flu virus in the United States each year. Usually those victims are infants or elderly. "What sets the swine flu apart is that it is affecting people in their 20s and 30s," she explains.

Vargas suggests following tips for prevention that have been complied by the Center for Disease Control. For those prevention tips and to learn more about what PennState is doing University-wide to prevent the spread of Swine Flu, visit


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 05, 2009