UNIVERSITY PARK – As students return to Penn State campuses, the concern for the re-appearance of the novel H1N1 virus (previously called swine flu) in the college community is high on the agenda of University officials. Penn State is preparing for the highly contagious flu — if and when it arrives. Part of that preparation involves parents, as well as students.
During move-in days at University Park (Aug. 20-22), a letter from Vice President for Student Affairs Damon Sims related to the upcoming flu season was distributed to parents to keep them informed of Penn State’s plans for a flu outbreak. The letter also asks for the assistance of parents in monitoring their own student’s health status and needs. To see a copy of the letter, check online.
In addition, Penn State has taken several proactive steps to lessen the spread of the flu, such as implementing a major educational campaign to post uniform information throughout University facilities where employees and students live and work. Letters also were sent to all Penn State faculty, staff and students related to H1N1 and policies and procedures that will be followed; flyers were sent to all first-year students in their regular mailings from admissions; and University health officials have held and continue to hold meetings in units across the University to provide facts about the virus and tips for prevention. Individual offices have placed hand-sanitizer in their areas, our food services areas now have hand-sanitizer at their entry points, and custodial staffs have been asked to focus more on high-touch surfaces, to name just a few of the actions being taken.
Penn State has a pandemic plan in place and University health care professionals have been carefully monitoring this influenza since its first appearance on the global scene. University Park is a sentinel site for the Pennsylvania Department of Health and has been in close contact with the state, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how to mitigate the impact during the upcoming flu season.
For more information on H1N1 or the seasonal flu, visit here.