- About SHS
- Clinical Services
- Prevention & Wellness
- Survivor Care & Advocacy
- Fees, Insurance & Forms
Influenza has arrived early! Several students have already been diagnosed with Influenza B at SHS and in the community. This could be a long flu season. We strongly recommend all students get the influenza vaccine. This can be obtained in the SHS Clinic or Pharmacy or at any local clinic or pharmacy. If you develop symptoms of influenza (see below) please stay at home, except to access health care, until 24 hours after your fever resolves to minimize the spread to others.
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Signs and Symptoms of Flu
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or possibly their nose.
You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. It is important to stay away from work, classes and other public areas as much as possible when you have symptoms of influenza to prevent spreading the illness to others.
The time from when a person is exposed to flu virus to when symptoms begin is about 1 to 4 days, with an average of about 2 days.
Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
Anyone can get the flu (even healthy people), and serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people are at high risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.
The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccination each year. CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.
It is very difficult to distinguish the flu from other viral or bacterial causes of respiratory illnesses on the basis of symptoms alone. There are tests available to diagnose flu. For more information, see Diagnosing Flu.
There are influenza antiviral drugs that can be used to treat flu illness.
There are over 800 cases (up 270 cases from 10 days ago) of lung injury reported from 46 states (including Oregon) and 1 U.S. territory (up from 38 states 10 days ago). Twelve deaths have been confirmed in 10 states (including Oregon). Two deaths have now been reported in Oregon.
CDC has received complete sex and age data on 373 of 530 cases.
All reported cases have a history of e-cigarette product use or vaping.
Based on initial data from certain states we know: Most patients have reported a history of using e-cigarette products containing THC. Many patients have reported using THC and nicotine. Some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.
Symptoms include shortness of breath, cough, and chest pain with breathing (pleuritic pain). Symptoms have worsened over days or weeks prior to hospitalization. Some affected individuals have experienced fatigue, fever, nausea, weight loss, and diarrhea as well.
The cause of this serious condition is not known. It does not appear to be related to infection. Most individuals have been vaping cannabis products.
We strongly advise students to stop using all vaping devices and to seek medical care immediately if experiencing the symptoms noted above.
For more information, visit the CDC website about this topic.
Live updated information on Zika virus can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/
Zika virus is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites. Only 1 out of 5 infected individuals will develop symptoms which include:
Whether or not symptoms occur, all individuals with Zika infection can potentially spread it to others through sexual contact or blood transfusion. Zika is not spread through casual contact such as in a class room, between roommates who are not sexual partners, or through contaminated food.
Though the active infection only lasts for a few days, the potential for spread through sexual contact can last for months. So what’s the big concern? Zika virus can lead to serious birth defects if a pregnant woman develops an infection or if an infected woman later becomes pregnant and transmits it to her unborn fetus.
If your partner traveled to an area with Zika
Zika virus can affect fetal brain development, and infected persons can carry this virus without showing symptoms. Because of these factors, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people with a partner who traveled to an area with Zika use condoms or avoid having sex for a period of time.
The precautionary period depends on whether the traveling partner is female or male:
If you live in an area with Zika
If you live in an area with Zika it’s best to use condoms or avoid having sex. If you (or your partner) develop symptoms of Zika or if you have concerns, talk to a healthcare provider.
The CDC recommends the following precautions to avoid exposure and complications: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/prevention/index.html
If you have recently traveled in affected areas and feel that you may have symptoms of Zika virus infection, contact Student Health Services for evaluation.