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Penn State Plans for Flu Season, Asks for Community Cooperation

8/26/2009 —

The H1N1 virus (previously called swine flu) has taken a backseat to other news lately, but public health officials expect it to re-emerge this fall, creating a number of challenges for institutions like Penn State.

To take a proactive approach to the expected flu outbreak, University officials are ramping up communications efforts to provide guidelines to students, faculty and staff who may be affected in some way by the H1N1 virus, either contracting the illness themselves, caring for family members who may be ill, or avoiding the flu altogether. Minimizing the spread of this highly contagious disease is a significant concern for health officials. The guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for anyone contracting the H1N1 virus require self-isolation -- that means not attending classes, not coming to work and not gathering in public spaces or for group activities. Following are links to H1N1 information provided Aug. 7 via e-mail to each group within the University community. More information will follow throughout the fall and spring semester.

  • For faculty members, information on class absences for students and administrative and academic policies that apply during this public health situation can be found online here.
  • For students at University Park, information on what to do if you contract the flu and the requirements for self-isolation can be found online here.
  • For students at campuses outside of University Park, information on what to do if you contract the flu and the requirements for self-isolation can be found online here.
  • For employees, information on missed work days, sick family days, limiting face-to-face meetings, and telecommuting can be found online here.

All of the correspondence contains information or links on how to minimize exposure and remain healthy through good hygiene and healthy practices. For faculty and staff, additional information on the seasonal flu vaccine (which does not cover the H1N1 virus) can be found online here.

Anyone needing additional facts and background information on H1N1, such as symptoms of the flu, should view this information. Updates on what Penn State is doing related to this virus can be found online here or at this site. You can also download an informational piece from University Health Services titled "Prepare for Flu Season."

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