Viral illness, branded ‘PSFlu’ by students, impacts Penn State University Park

Coronavirus

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn State students are taking to social media to share their experience with what they’ve branded as the ‘PSFlu’, a viral illness going around the University Park campus.

“Everyone at Penn State is just getting the exact same symptoms,” said Shayna Cuiffitelli, a senior at Penn State University. “It’s not COVID, that’s the biggest thing.”

At University Health Services, “What we are seeing is definitely falling along the lines of a viral type of illness,” said Valerie Fulton, infectious disease nurse manager.

Inside classroom, Cuiffitelli said you can hear something going around.

“Today in class there were people coughing all over my classroom, just all over the place,” said Cuiffitelli.

While Cuiffitelli said her professors were very flexible about her missing classes or exams while sick, Penn State senior Lillian Fager said it hasn’t been so simple.

“My one professor has this rule that unless you have a positive COVID test, then you’ll have points taken off your grade if you miss class,” said Fager. “So, I have to go to that class.” 

Fager said the pandemic has taught her the importance of isolating when you feel sick, and not being able to do so out of fear of academic repercussions is frustrating and uncomfortable.

“Not being able to breathe as it is, it’s hard to be able to go and sit in a room that doesn’t have A.C. with a mask on for like an hour,” said Fager.

Both said students are masking indoors on-campus, but restrictions are looser outdoors.

“Especially in the stadium,” said Cuiffitelli. “I went to the Auburn game. Three days, later I have the PSFlu.”

Students can receive care or a flu shot at any time with an appointment at the health center, but are advised to book ahead.

“The appointments are very much so booking up, we’re getting to the calls as best we can,” said Fulton.

Penn State will host two flu vaccine clinics as part of their annual #FightFluPSU campaign. The clinic will be held on September 30 at the HUB-Robeson Center and on October 25 in Alumni Hall, both from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Students must schedule an appointment through myUHS to attend the clinics, as well as upload their health insurance cards. If a student doesn’t cover the vaccine, students can contact the UHS case manager at 814-863-0774 with any cost concerns.

Students must bring their student ID with them to the appointment.

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