STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - It happens every year, "The Flu Season"... WTAJ's Charlotte Ames reported last week that the state was seeing an increase in flu cases. That's
true locally, in Blair, and Centre County. For Penn State students with the flu, they can't let their heads hit the pillow, cause they're busy hitting the books.
Whether it's getting a snack, going to the bathroom, or just getting to your room, Penn State students are fighting the flu. All while trying to make the grade during finals week. PSU Freshman Carolyn Quinn says if one person has the flu, then many more will have a hard time avoiding it in the dorms.
"A ton of my friends are sick... The dorm rooms are so tight, and my roommate had it before me and gave me the flu, so I see that first hand experience, but we're all tight and it's stuffy in there. It's easy to spread."
Quinn says while it is a big problem in the dorms, the flu's all over campus.
"I sat in Eisenhower Auditorium with a group of 900 kids and half of them are coughing and I'm sure a lot of that is contributed by the flu."
Shelley Haffner's the Nurse Manager of Infection Prevention at Penn State. She says the flu really picked up after thanksgiving break.
"Once the students came back from break we started seeing flu, and it really picked up last week and this week."
Haffner says that once finals are over, most kids will go home over winter break so the school's not really worried about closing. But for students like Quinn, the flu makes the finish line at the end of finals seem a little farther away.
"We're staying up all night to study, and were exhausted and it makes it that much harder to get through finals. It's really difficult."
Hundreds of cases of the flu have been reported in Pennsylvania. The Department of Health says your best bet for prevention is to get a flu shot. But if you do have the flu, check out these tips from the PA Health Department below, to avoid spreading it to others.
The Health Department offers these tips for preventing spread of the flu:
Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Stay at home when ill.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. Alcohol based hand sanitizers can also be used when soap and water are not handy.
Clean and disinfect high use surfaces, especially if someone has been coughing or sneezing in the area.