Medical Service

Health Alert & Information

Staph Infections

Staphylococcal skin infections, also known as “staph infections,” are caused by Staphylococcus aureus  bacteria.  There has been an increase in the spontaneous development of these infections in otherwise healthy people. 

For more information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dhqp/ar_mrsa_ca_public.html

Meningitis Vaccine Information

One of the vaccinations offered at the Medical Clinic is the vaccine that protects against meningococcal disease. This disease is a rare but potentially fatal bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, which is an inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) states that college freshmen living in residence halls are at moderately increased risk for meningococcal disease as compared to other individuals their age. The ACIP does not recommend that the level of increased risk among college freshmen warrants any specific changes in their living situations. Parents and students are encouraged to make an informed choice about whether or not to be immunized.

For more information, visit the web site at the Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/

Influenza

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention):

  • 10-20% of the US population gets influenza (also called “the flu”) each year.
  • Approximately 36,000 deaths occur annually in the US alone.
  • The flu is a respiratory illness that causes high fever, cough, muscle aches and fatigue.
  • It is spread from person to person through coughing or sneezing.
  • Individuals who have the flu are contagious from 1 day before showing signs of being sick to 5 days after symptoms develop.
  • The influenza season lasts from fall to early spring with the highest prevalence occurring during the winter months.

Getting vaccinated can prevent influenza. The Centers for Disease Control has made specific recommendations regarding who should be immunized. For healthy young adults (most college students!) the focus should be on prevention of transmission (besides the vaccine).

Other ways of preventing the flu include the following:

  • wash your hands often
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing

Influenza can be treated if detected early. Your doctor may order certain test to help diagnose the flu. If you become sick, drink plenty of liquids, get lots of rest, avoid using alcohol or tobacco, and take over the counter medications to relieve your symptoms.

Read more about influenza at www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm.