Oregon State University places high priority on preventing the spread of infectious diseases such as influenza, HPV, meningococcal disease, MRSA, norovirus, pertussis and scabies. To promote the health and well-being of the campus community, Student Health Services offers preventive information on these diseases, as well as supplying any immunizations that are available for specific diseases.
Following are the recommended immunization schedules for adults and adolescents for 2016-2017. These schedules are approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/index.html).
For timely, accurate, and proven information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent, visit the Immunization Action Coalition website.
Different viruses cause the cold and flu. The two sicknesses share symptoms, but flu is more severe.
|General aches and pains||Slight||Usual, often intense|
|Fatigue and weakness||Very mild||Common. can last 2–3 weeks|
|Extreme exhaustion||Never||Early and prominent|
|Chest discomfort, cough||Mild||Common, can get severe|
Additional "Cover Your Cough" posters in various languages are available at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/covercough.htm.
Student Health Services is the lead department for OSU's Infectious Diseases Response Team (IDRT). The purpose of the IDRT is to prepare and implement strategies for the prevention and control of communicable disease threats to the university community.
For more information, download the OSU Infectious Disease Response Protocol (PDF) (revised September 2014).
Genital human papillomavirus (also called HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are more than 40 HPV types that can infect the genital areas of males and females. These HPV types can also infect the mouth and throat. Most people who become infected with HPV do not even know they have it.
Most people with HPV do not develop symptoms or health problems from it. In 90 percent of cases, the body’s immune system clears HPV naturally within two years. But the potential for problems such as genital warts and cervical cancer is very real.
HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact. HPV can be passed on between straight and same-sex partners—even when the infected partner has no signs or symptoms.
A person can have HPV even if years have passed since he or she had sexual contact with an infected person. Most infected persons do not realize they are infected or that they are passing the virus on to a sex partner. It is also possible to get more than one type of HPV.
There are several ways that people can lower their chances of getting HPV:
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/default.htm
Meningococcal disease is a serious, potentially fatal infection that most often causes severe swelling of the tissue around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or a serious blood infection (meningococcemia). The best defense is getting vaccinated.
Symptoms of Meningococcal disease
Early symptoms may be difficult to distinguish from the flu or an upper respiratory infection, or symptoms may appear suddenly and progress rapidly.
If symptoms occur
Immediately contact your health care provider or go to the emergency department for sudden severe symptoms.
How Meningococcal disease spreads
The bacteria are spread by exchanging respiratory and throat secretions (saliva or spit) during close (for example, coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact with an infected person.
Other factors that increase risk:
How to reduce the spread of Meningococcal disease
Vaccines available at Student Health
Student Health Services has vaccinations to cover all serotypes (strains) of meningococcus. The mandated meningococcal vaccine required at Oregon State University protects against groups A, C, W and Y. This vaccine does not cover against group B, the strain that has infected three OSU students since fall term 2016. The MenB vaccine is available at Student Health Services.
Students currently enrolled may come to Student Health Services to receive a vaccine. Students should check with their insurance company to see if the cost will be covered. The charges can also be billed to students’ accounts.
Want more information?
Read these PDFs from the Oregon Health Authority:
Also visit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html
MRSA is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a potentially dangerous type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics and may cause skin and other infections. You can get MRSA through direct contact with an infected person or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors that have touched infected skin.
Staph infections, including MRSA, occur most frequently among persons in hospitals and healthcare facilities who have weakened immune systems. MRSA infections that occur in otherwise healthy people who have not been recently (within the past year) hospitalized or had a medical procedure (such as dialysis, surgery, catheters) are known as community-associated (CA)-MRSA infections. These infections are usually skin infections, such as abscesses, boils, and other pus-filled lesions.
Most staph skin infections, including CA-MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that may be:
If you or someone in your family or living situation experiences these signs and symptoms, cover the area with a bandage and contact a healthcare professional. It is especially important to see a healthcare professional if signs and symptoms of an MRSA skin infection are accompanied by a fever.
MRSA can develop into more serious infections. It is fairly uncommon, however, that a complication of a CA-MRSA skin infection develops. Complications are more common within the healthcare setting, where more serious infections can affect tissues inside the body, not just the skin. Some of the most common areas affected (and the types of infections caused) include:
Treatment for MRSA skin infections may include having a healthcare professional drain the infection and, in some cases, prescribe an antibiotic. Do not attempt to drain the infection yourself – doing so could worsen or spread it to others. If you are given an antibiotic, be sure to take all of the doses (even if the infection is getting better), unless your healthcare professional tells you to stop taking it.
MRSA infections can be spread through skin-to-skin contact or less frequently by touching surfaces that have MRSA on them. MRSA is typically spread by:
CLICK ON THUMBNAILS
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa
Noroviruses are a group of viruses that cause the "stomach flu," or gastroenteritis. Viruses are very different from bacteria and parasites, some of which can cause illnesses similar to norovirus infection. Like all viral infections, noroviruses are not affected by treatment with antibiotics, and cannot multiply outside of a person's body.
Symptoms usually begin about 24 to 48 hours after ingestion of the virus, but they can appear as early as 12 hours after exposure.
Symptoms usually include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and some stomach cramping. In addition, people sometimes have a low-grade fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and a general sense of tiredness. The illness often begins suddenly, and the infected person may feel very sick. In most people the symptoms last about 1 or 2 days and require no medical treatment to stop them.
Noroviruses are found in the stool or vomit of infected people. People can become infected with the virus in several ways, including:
Noroviruses are very contagious and can spread easily from person to person. Both stool and vomit are infectious. Particular care should be taken when dealing with young children in diapers who may have diarrhea.
People infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least 3 days after recovery. The virus "sheds" for 72 hours after the last symptoms. Therefore, it is particularly important for people to use good handwashing and other hygienic practices after they have recently recovered from a norovirus illness.
Currently, there is no antiviral medication that works against norovirus and there is no vaccine to prevent infection. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because antibiotics work to fight bacteria, not viruses.
If you are ill with vomiting and diarrhea, stay home and stay hydrated with plenty of fluids. Dehydration is the most serious health effect that can result from norovirus infection. By drinking oral rehydration fluids (ORF), juice, or water, you can reduce your chance of becoming dehydrated. Sports drinks do not replace the nutrients and minerals lost during this illness. If you can't keep down any fluids and are feeling very thirsty or lightheaded, please see your health care provider.
You can decrease your chance of contracting or spreading norovirus by following these preventive steps:
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov/norovirus
Whooping cough (known medically as pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. Whooping cough is most contagious before the coughing starts.
This is one of the most common vaccine-preventable childhood diseases in the United States. It's important to remember that both children and adults can get whooping cough. Since the 1980s, there's been a dramatic increase in the number of cases of whooping cough, especially among teens (10 – 19 years of age) and babies less than 5 months of age. In 2005, there were more than 25,000 total reported cases. In rare cases, whooping cough can be deadly; the disease causes an estimated 10 to 20 deaths each year in the United States.
After 1-2 weeks, severe coughing begins. Children with the disease cough violently and rapidly, over and over, until the air is gone from their lungs and they're forced to inhale with a loud "whooping" sound.
Adults are at highest risk for:
Other complications of adult pertussis occur rarely.
Infants are at highest risk for:
People with whooping cough usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others, who then breathe in the pertussis bacteria. Many infants who get whooping cough are infected by older siblings or parents who might not even know they have the disease, making it important for all teens and adults to be adequately vaccinated.
The best way to prevent whooping cough is to get vaccinated. There are vaccines for children, pre-teens, teens and adults. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP, and the vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Both protect against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. A Tdap booster can be given anytime regardless of the date of one’s last tetanus booster. Adults who want to protect themselves and any infants and children they may be in contact with should contact their healthcare provider about receiving Tdap.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov/pertussis
Scabies is caused by an infestation of the skin by the human itch mite (Sarcoptes scabiei var. hominis). The microscopic scabies mite burrows into the upper layer of the skin where it lives and lays its eggs. The most common symptoms of scabies are intense itching and a pimple-like skin rash. The scabies mite usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies.
Scabies occurs worldwide and affects people of all races and social classes. Scabies can spread rapidly under crowded conditions where close body contact is frequent.
When a person is infested with scabies mites the first time, symptoms usually do not appear for up to two months (2-6 weeks) after being infested. If a person has had scabies before, symptoms appear much sooner (1-4 days) after exposure.
The most common signs and symptoms of scabies are intense itching, especially at night, and a pimple-like itchy rash. The itching and rash each may affect much of the body or be limited to common sites such as the wrist, elbow, armpit, webbing between the fingers, nipple, penis, waist, belt-line, and buttocks. The rash also can include tiny blisters (vesicles) and scales.
Tiny burrows sometimes are seen on the skin; these are caused by the female scabies mite tunneling just beneath the surface of the skin. These burrows appear as tiny raised and crooked grayish-white or skin-colored lines on the skin surface. The mites are often few in number (only 10-15 mites per person), so these burrows may be difficult to find.
The intense itching of scabies leads to scratching that can lead to skin sores. The sores sometimes become infected with bacteria on the skin, such as Staphylococcus aureus. Sometimes the bacterial skin infection can lead to an inflammation of the kidneys called post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis.
Scabies usually is spread by direct, prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has scabies. Contact generally must be prolonged; a quick handshake or hug usually will not spread scabies. Scabies in adults frequently is sexually acquired. Scabies sometimes is spread indirectly by sharing articles such as clothing, towels, or bedding used by an infested person.
A person infested with scabies mites can transmit scabies, even if they do not have symptoms, until they are successfully treated and the mites and eggs are destroyed.
Treatment for scabies involves either oral medications or topical creams called scabicides because they kill scabies mites; some also kill eggs. Scabicides to treat human scabies are available only with a doctor’s prescription; no “over-the-counter” (non-prescription) products have been tested and approved for humans. Always follow carefully the instructions provided by the doctor and pharmacist, as well as those contained in the box or printed on the label.
In addition to the infested person, treatment also is recommended for household members and sexual contacts, particularly those who have had prolonged skin-to-skin contact with the infested person. All persons should be treated at the same time in order to prevent re-infestation. Retreatment may be necessary if itching continues more than 2-4 weeks after treatment or if new burrows or rash continue to appear.
In addition to medicinal treatment, bedding and clothing should be decontaminated (i.e., either machine-washed, machine-dried using the hot cycle, or dry cleaned) or removed from body contact for at least 72 hours. Fumigation of living areas is not necessary.
Scabies is prevented by avoiding direct skin-to-skin contact with an infested person or with items such as clothing or bedding used by an infested person. Scabies treatment usually is recommended for members of the same household, particularly for those who have had prolonged skin-to-skin contact. Bedding and clothing worn or used next to the skin anytime during the 3 days before treatment should be machine washed and dried using the hot water and hot dryer cycles or be dry-cleaned. Items that cannot be dry-cleaned or laundered can be disinfested by storing in a closed plastic bag for several days to a week. Scabies mites generally do not survive more than 2 to 3 days away from human skin. Children and adults usually can return to child care, school, or work the day after treatment.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov/scabies
Tuberculosis (TB) is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal.
Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, two TB-related conditions exist:
Once a person is infected with TB bacteria (LTBI), the chance of developing TB disease is higher if the person:
Two tests may be used to detect TB bacteria in the body: a TB skin test (TST) or a TB blood test. At Oregon State, incoming students from high-risk countries will be required to have the TB blood test. If you have a positive reaction to the test, you will be given a chest X-ray to see if you have TB disease.
Students from countries identified as high TB risk are required to complete TB screening upon arrival at Oregon State. Students from exempt countries who have lived in a high-risk country for more than six (6) months are recommended to complete a TB screening as well. The TB screening will be available through OSU Student Health Services. In many cases, TB screening will be included in the new student orientation schedules as coordinated by INTO-OSU and OSU International Programs. The testing must be completed within the United States, so please do not pursue advance testing in your country prior to your arrival. If you are from one of the high-risk countries, please expect to complete your TB screening upon arrival at OSU.
TB is spread through the air from one person to another. The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.
TB is NOT spread by:
Travelers should avoid close contact or prolonged time with known TB patients in crowded, enclosed environments (for example, clinics, hospitals, prisons, or homeless shelters).
Travelers who will be working in clinics, hospitals, or other health care settings where TB patients are likely to be encountered should consult infection control or occupational health experts. They should ask about administrative and environmental procedures for preventing exposure to TB. Once those procedures are implemented, additional measures could include using personal respiratory protective devices.
If you think you have been exposed to someone with TB disease, contact your health care provider or local health department to see if you should be tested for TB. Be sure to tell the doctor or nurse when you spent time with someone who has TB disease.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - www.cdc.gov/tb
Students from any of the countries listed below are required to complete TB screening upon arrival at Oregon State. Domestic students who have lived in one of these countries for more than six (6) month are not required to be screened, but it is recommended.
Source: World Health Organization (WHO) estimates of tuberculosis incidence by country, 2015 (2015 data released December 2016). Countries with rates of ≥20 cases per 100,000 population.
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Central African Republic
China, Hong Kong SAR
China, Macao SAR
Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Korea (Republic of)
Lao People's Democratic Republic
Micronesia (Federated States of)
Moldova (Republic of)
Northern Mariana Islands
Papua New Guinea
Republic of Korea
Republic of Moldova
Sao Tome and Principe
Syria (Syrian Arab Republic)
United Republic of Tanzania
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)