Penn State Students Prepare for Flu Season with Help of UHS

Story posted November 11, 2019 in News, CommRadio by Marissa Ulchaker

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — With winter approaching, Penn Staters are focused on staying healthy as flu season gets underway. Students are trying their best to prevent getting the “Penn State Plague.”

Even though scientists are unable to exactly pinpoint the severity of the upcoming flu season, they have been studying recent flu seasons to best predict what is in store for the 2019-2020 season.

Last year was the longest flu season in a decade, so researchers are being even more detailed in this year’s studies. This year’s flu vaccine has been formulated to protect against the two strains that dominated flu season last year, H1N1 and H3N2, as well as other strains that are currently prevalent.

Everyday Health says that “on average, the annual flu vaccine is around 40% effective.”

University Health Services offered free flu vaccine clinics on six days this fall, and students can go to UHS for a flu vaccine throughout flu season.

Freshman Nicole Pinto said, “I got my flu shot after going to UHS for being sick. They didn’t diagnose me with anything specific, but I had flu-like symptoms.”

In order to prevent the flu, students should be disinfecting surfaces, washing their hands, eating healthy to boost their immune system, and getting a flu shot.

Freshman Aliyah Rios is taking all precautions to ensure she does not get sick.

She said, “I am getting my flu shot soon because I did get sick in the beginning of the semester, and that was the time that I wanted to take it, so I am waiting until I am fully healthy to get it.”

The flu shot is the most effective way to prevent the flu. Students should get one in order to reduce the risk of getting the flu, the duration and severity of a sickness, and the spread of it.

The flu can be treated with antiviral medications, which are most effective when started within the first two days of being sick.

Penn State is hosting the One Health Seminar, which informs students of antimicrobial resistant pathogens, during the annual Antibiotic Awareness Week on Nov. 19 from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

 

Marissa Ulchaker is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email mvu5066@psu.edu.