Adenovirus Outbreak Strikes Penn State Campus

Story posted November 18, 2019 in News, CommRadio by Marissa Ulchaker

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has seen an uptick in adenovirus cases this year. University Health Services is advising students to follow prevention techniques to stay healthy and limit the spread of the viruses.
These viruses are spread through saliva and respiratory secretions. Common symptoms of adenoviruses include sore throat, fever, pink eye, pneumonia and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

Adenovirus symptoms are easily mistaken for the flu, and there is no treatment for adenoviruses. Those who have been affected simply need to get rest, drink fluids, limit physical activity and limit contact with other people.

UHS infectious disease manager Shelley Haffner said, “[People who have contracted adenovirus] need to stay away from others, for one thing. Self-isolate, stay home until they’re feeling better, meaning without a fever for 24 hours and without the use of fever medications, and they need to let their body heal.”

It is important that students are aware of which illness they have. It is common for people to not get a flu shot after already contracting the flu. As a result, these people will not be protected from future flu contaminations.

Haffner advises students to make smart decisions regarding their health.

“Be very careful,” Haffner said. “We are running into a very stressful, challenging time of the semester now where students may not always get the sleep and the rest that they need, and they may not be eating a healthy diet. They may not be thinking of health preventative measures, but it’s so important right now.”

Students should be washing their hands, limiting close contact with others and not sharing food and drinks to prevent spreading and contracting adenoviruses.

Marissa Ulchaker is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email