University Health Services advises students to take flu precautions

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control are reporting wide-spread flu at this time. Indications are that flu activity has not yet peaked as the number of flu cases continues to increase.

The 2009 H1N1influenza virus, the same strain that caused the 2009 influenza pandemic, is the predominant strain at this time and is particularly affecting young adults.

This strain is included in this season's flu vaccine. Although it takes approximately two weeks to develop an adequate antibody response after receiving the flu vaccine, it is not too late to be vaccinated for flu season.

University Health Services (UHS) will be offering two flu vaccine clinics this month:
 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 3 and 10, in 205 Student Health Center
.
Students may schedule appointments online through myUHS at www.studentaffairs.psu.edu/health/myUHS or by calling 814-863-0774. Walk-in appointments also will be accepted based on vaccine availability. The cost for the vaccine when received at one of the clinics is $10 and will be charged to the student's bursar account. If students are unable to make one of the clinics, they may schedule an appointment with a nurse at a fee of $23.

The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the spread of flu. Other preventive measures include frequent hand hygiene, especially before eating or drinking and before touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and not sharing food and drinks with others. Avoiding individuals who have flu symptoms is also helpful, although challenging in public settings. Encouraging those who have not been vaccinated against the flu this season to receive the vaccine can also reduce its spread.

UHS strongly encourages anyone who plans to attend THON this year to get vaccinated against the flu, to avoid spreading flu to children whose immune systems are weakened by cancer and chemotherapy.

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