Swine flu not an issue at Penn State, but precautions advised

April 27, 2009

Swine influenza, or swine flu, is a respiratory disease that causes regular outbreaks among pigs. While unusual, swine flu can spread from pigs to humans most commonly through direct exposure to pigs (such as working on a pig farm). Human-to-human spread of swine flu also has been reported. Swine flu is not transmitted by eating pork.
There are currently 20 laboratory confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States and additional cases worldwide. University Health Services (UHS) works closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and participates in ongoing influenza surveillance.  As part of this program, UHS will test for swine flu as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and public health officials. To date there are no cases of swine flu at Penn State.

Individuals traveling internationally may visit http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/ for updated information concerning their travel destination.
Symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to seasonal flu. These symptoms include fever, tiredness, body aches and coughing. Runny nose, sore throat, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting have also been reported.
Shelley Haffner, infection control nurse manager for University Health Services, advises following these basic guidelines to stay healthy:

— Wash your hands thoroughly and often — especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

— Do not share utensils, drinks, cigarettes, or personal care items; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as cross-contamination can occur.

— Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Always dispose of tissues properly.
The seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against swine flu. Individuals who are experiencing flu-like symptoms should make an appointment with their health provider. UHS appointments can be scheduled online at www.sa.psu.edu/uhs or by calling (814) 863-0774. If diagnosed in time, infected individuals may be treated with an antiviral medication.
Additional information about swine flu is available at www.cdc.gov/swineflu/general_info.htm.


(Media Contacts)

Last Updated May 01, 2009