Sick individuals urged not to attend THON

February 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — All community members planning to attend THON are urged to use their best judgment when deciding to attend the event during this active flu season.

University Health Services (UHS) strongly recommends that any individual displaying symptoms of the flu not attend THON, as children and other individuals with compromised immune symptoms will be present at the event. Symptomatic individuals should seek evaluation and treatment from a medical professional.

THON

University Health Services strongly recommends that any individual displaying symptoms of the flu not attend THON, as children and other individuals with compromised immune symptoms will be present at the event. 

IMAGE: University Health Services

The flu, and other infectious diseases, are of the greatest risk to young children, older adults and anyone with compromised immune systems — including the Four Diamonds children who attend and benefit from THON.

“Individuals should always take precautions to protect themselves and others from infectious diseases, and take efforts to limit exposure to others when ill,” said Dr. Robin Oliver-Veronesi, UHS senior director. “At THON, where there will be immunocompromised children, it is especially important to stay home if you are sick.”

UHS advises the following precautions against the flu and other infectious illnesses:

  • Stay away from people who are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper sleeve, not your hand
  • Handwash frequently with either soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Don’t share food and drinks with others, engage in drinking games or participate in other activities that may result in saliva exposure

Additionally, symptoms of the flu to watch for include:

  • Fever, feeling feverish or having chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Flu viruses are primarily spread by respiratory droplets created when contagious individuals cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.

Health officials at Penn State strongly recommend an antiviral medication, such as Tamiflu, for those at high risk for flu complications. Tamiflu is available at the UHS Pharmacy on the University Park campus. At this time, UHS is able to meet the demand for services for students who are diagnosed with the flu.

With weeks of flu activity still to come, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continue to recommend the flu vaccine as an important step in protecting against flu viruses and reducing severe flu complications. Students at University Park can receive the 2019-20 flu vaccine by scheduling an appointment via myUHS, or asking their health care provider about the vaccine during any regularly scheduled appointment.

Additional information about the flu, its symptoms and precautions are available through the CDC as well as through UHS. For individuals who have specific questions related to coronavirus, visit https://sites.psu.edu/virusinfo/.

Last Updated February 24, 2020