The 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.
Current Health Alerts
The University continues to work closely with international and domestic officials to monitor Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Learn more on the University's COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness webpage.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has confirmed the first death due to West Nile virus (WNV) for the 2020 season in Los Angeles County. WNV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito, most often during warm weather months when mosquitoes are most active. Although not all mosquitoes carry WNV, the type of mosquito that spreads this virus is found throughout Los Angeles County.
Most people (about 80%) infected with WNV do not develop any symptoms. Some people (about 20%) may experience mild symptoms, including fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with mild symptoms recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
In few cases (about 1 in 150 people who are infected), severe WNV infection can occur and affect the brain and spinal cord, causing meningitis, encephalitis, and paralysis. Symptoms of severe illness include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness, and paralysis. People over 60 years of age, and people with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are at higher risk of developing severe illness.
If you think you or a family member might have WNV disease, talk with your health care provider. There is no specific treatment for WNV disease and no vaccine to prevent infection.
Decrease Your Risk of Exposure
- Mosquito repellents can keep mosquitoes from biting you. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. Repellents are available as sprays, wipes, and lotions. Find the right insect repellent for you by using EPA's search tool.
- Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside. Use permethrin to treat clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents) or buy permethrin-treated clothing and equipment. Do not use permethrin products directly on your skin.
Mosquito Proof Your Home
- Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
- Use air conditioning, if available.
- Prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in or near standing water. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water, such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, birdbaths, flowerpots, or trash containers.
- Clean and maintain swimming pools, spas, and drain water from pool covers.
- Cover water storage containers such as buckets and rain barrels. If there is no lid, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
- Call your local mosquito control district to report persistent problems.
Source: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health
Learn more about WNV on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed a local outbreak of measles among five persons. This outbreak includes four County residents, who were exposed to an unimmunized, international visitor who was infectious with measles while in Los Angeles County. Public Health has identified public places visited by the confirmed case.
Public Health states unimmunized persons or those with unknown immunization status who were at these sites during the dates and times listed are at risk of developing measles from 7 to 21 days after being exposed. Individuals who have been free of symptoms for more than 21 days are no longer at risk.
People who were in the locations around the aforementioned times should:
- Review immunization and medical records to determine if they are protected against measles. People who have not had measles infection previously or received the measles immunization may not be protected from the measles virus and should talk with a health care provider about receiving measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) immunization. Students may schedule an appointment to receive their MMR vaccine at the Student Health Center by calling 310.506.4316, option 3.
- Contact and notify their health care provider as soon as possible about a potential exposure if they are pregnant, an infant, have a weakened immune system and/or are unimmunized regardless of vaccination history.
- Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a healthcare provider immediately.
Measles is considered among the most contagious viruses in the world. Measles lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. Also, measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected 7-21 days after exposure. Infected people can infect those around them before they have symptoms and know they are infected.
Common symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis (red eyes), and a rash which usually appears 10 to 21 days after the exposure. Infants, young children, and others are at increased risk for more serious complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death. The measles virus can be transmitted from one person to another up to four days before through four days after the rash appears. Individuals should contact their healthcare provider by phone before going in if they develop measles symptoms, so measures can be taken to prevent possible spread to others in the provider's waiting room. They should also tell their doctor or other healthcare provider if they traveled internationally or had international visitors in the last 21 days or had exposure to another person with measles.
Students may call the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3 with any questions.
Learn more about measles on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
Free Flu Shots Available 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 a 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.
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.