The Pepperdine Student Health Center is committed to providing important and timely information on current health concerns. Please check below for any information we have as well as best practices to keep you safe and healthy.
FREE FLU SHOTS AT THE STUDENT HEALTH CENTER!
It is not too late to receive influenza (flu) vaccine to prevent getting the flu. According to the Los Angeles Public Health Department, flu activity is elevated and is increasing throughout Los Angeles County.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that influenza activity has increased significantly in recent weeks and is now widespread in the state of California. Flu can cause hospitalization and death. Receiving the flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself and others from getting the flu.
Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. There are additional steps you can take to keep yourself and your family healthy. Take everyday precautions, like washing your hands, to protect your health. If you are exposed to or caring for someone with the flu, talk to your doctor about preventive antiviral medications.
What is the best way to protect myself and my family from the flu?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu every year. Flu vaccination is especially important for people who are at greater risk for complications from flu and those who live with or care for these individuals. Groups of people that are at high risk for flu complications include children younger than 5 years, adults 65 years and older, and pregnant women. Medical conditions such as asthma, chronic lung or heart disease, diabetes and being overweight (body-mass index >40) can also increase your risk for flu complications.
People at higher risk for complications from the flu should seek medical care as soon as they begin to feel ill, whether or not they have been vaccinated. They could benefit from antiviral therapy that can reduce the risk of experiencing complications and reduce the severity and duration of illness. Antiviral therapy is most effective when given early in the course of illness.
What are everyday steps I can take to stop the spread of germs?
In addition to getting a flu vaccine, practicing good hygiene can help prevent getting and spreading the flu. This includes washing your hands, covering your coughs and sneezes, not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and staying home if you're sick.
Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Practice good health habits. Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
How do I know if I have the flu?
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. Pneumonia is the most common complication of the flu. Students with influenza or influenza like illness or with any fever, should not attend classes until they have gone 24 hours without fever. Flu can also aggravate underlying health conditions like heart disease or asthma. Annually, thousands of people nationwide are hospitalized or die from influenza- associated illness. For more information about the flu please visit the Public Health website at: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/FluSeason/
Are there medications I can take to prevent getting the flu?
If you are healthy but exposed to a person with the flu, antiviral drugs can prevent you from getting sick. The sooner you are treated with an antiviral, the more likely it will prevent the flu. Antiviral drugs are 70% to 90% effective at preventing the flu. Talk to your health care provider if you think you need antiviral drugs.
The above information was taken from http://www.flu.gov/prevention-vaccination/prevention/index.html#, for more information click here
Mumps Outbreaks on U.S. College Campuses
Since a previous alert in November 2015, additional outbreaks of mumps have occurred at many college campuses in the Eastern and Midwestern United States. As of March 14, 2016, at least five undergraduate students at the University of San Diego (USD) have been recently diagnosed with mumps.
Mumps is a viral infection that often causes a fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, earache, and inflammation of the salivary glands that results in swelling and tenderness at the angle of the jaw. Severe complications are rare, but can include meningitis, decreased fertility, and permanent hearing loss. Debilitating inflammation of the testicles or ovaries may follow. Most people recover without problems.
Mumps is a contagious disease spread through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat. An infected person can spread the virus by coughing, sneezing, or close contact with an infected person.
The best way to prevent mumps is by getting the vaccine. This vaccine is included in the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccines. Two doses of mumps vaccine are 88% effective at preventing the disease; one dose is 78% effective.
If you are concerned you may have mumps, or are concerned about a possible exposure to mumps, please contact the Pepperdine Student Health Center at 310-506-4316 right away.
Additional information can be found at the CDC Website.
Zika Virus Alert
Zika virus has spread to countries throughout Latin America and will likely continue to spread to additional areas in the months ahead. Cases, mostly related to travel to Latin America, have been identified in a number of U.S. states.
The Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes and is therefore most prevalent in tropical environments. Sexual transmission has also been reported. Symptoms are usually mild and include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes), lasting several days to a week. Currently there is no vaccine to prevent Zika and no medicine to treat it. However, severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.
Travelers can limit their exposure to Zika (and other mosquito-borne illnesses such as Malaria, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya) by taking precautions to prevent mosquito bites. Travelers should note that Aedes species mosquitos (the species that carry this disease) can bite during the daytime, as well as dawn and dusk. Precautions include covering up with long sleeves and long pants, using insect repellant, keeping doors and windows closed if no screen is in place, and sleeping with a mosquito net.
Zika is linked to a specific birth defect called microcephaly. This link is so strong that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued travel guidance for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant, warning them to avoid visiting places where the virus is currently circulating. Such travelers should regularly review the CDC travel alert website for updates as more countries are likely to be added to the list.
In addition, because of the possibility of sexual transmission, individuals returning from Zika affected areas or those who have sexual contact with individuals returning from Zika affected areas, should use condoms for all sexual contact.
If you are concerned about a risk of exposure to Zika related to upcoming travel, contact a specialist in travel medicine at the Pepperdine Student Health Center at 310-506-4316. Pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should consult with their physician.