January 31, 2019


As most people are aware, there is an outbreak of measles in the Vancouver Washington area with at least one case in Portland as well. We have not yet had any cases in Corvallis. Measles is one of the most contagious diseases known to man. When infected individuals breathe the measles virus into the air of a room, the virus can remain infective for hours after they leave.

Many of our students are from the area of outbreak occurrence. Therefore, we are closely monitoring the situation and watching for cases on campus. Since Oregon State University requires two doses of measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR), which is 98 percent effective, most of our population is protected against disease. However, no vaccine is 100 percent effective, so there is still a slight chance of getting the disease even if immunized. Also, some students on campus have waived the requirement for medical or personal reasons so we do have some susceptible individuals.

Measles starts like a cold with cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Within a day or two of these symptoms a red rash will occur starting at the hairline and face and moving down. Rash is accompanied by high fever in most cases. While most infected individuals recover fully from measles within a couple of weeks there can be serious complications in up to 20 percent of adults with the disease. These include diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), seizures, and death. There is no treatment for these complications.

Since measles is so contagious, if you feel you might have the infection it is recommended that you call Student Health Services (SHS) first at 541-737-9355. The receptionist will ask you some questions and then arrange for you to come to the clinic or go to another facility, if appropriate, in a way that will minimize exposure to others. If you develop symptoms during hours when SHS is closed it is still important to call ahead before seeking care at an Urgent Care or emergency department - for the same reason.

If you have not been fully immunized with two doses of measles vaccine and feel you would like to get this immunization please come to SHS between the hours of 9am and 4:30pm Monday through Friday. No appointment is needed.

- Jeffrey Mull, MD, Medical Director, Student Health Services

January 9, 2018

All OSU Corvallis students age 25 and under must be vaccinated against meningococcal B by Feb. 15, 2018.

For more information, visit our MenB vaccination page, which includes: 

Families of Oregon State Corvallis students,

Please act immediately and have your OSU student vaccinated against meningococcal B disease.

Do not delay. The vaccination requires multiple doses. Students will not be able to register for spring term classes or receive their final grades for winter term without receiving the requisite doses. There are two meningococcal B vaccines; for details visit the OSU Student Health Services website.

This new requirement results from a sixth OSU undergraduate student since November 2016 being diagnosed with this disease.

Meningococcal disease is uncommon, but it is a serious disease. In 10 to 15 percent of all cases, death may result, as was the case with a University of Oregon student in 2015. In 20 percent of cases, hearing loss, mental impairment and limb loss can result.

For additional information on this vaccination requirement against meningococcal disease, please fully review the Student Health Services website. More information on meningococcal disease is available by calling the OSU Student Health Services nurse advice line at 541-737-2724 (9:00 a.m. until 12 noon only during winter break) or the Benton County Health Department communicable disease nurses at 541-766-6835.

Do not wait to have your student vaccinated. While on break, students are urged to contact their primary care physician, a local pharmacy or urgent care medical center and schedule a vaccination appointment. Students also can be vaccinated at OSU Student Health Services and pharmacy in Plageman Hall, 108 S.W. Memorial Place.

Before seeking to have your student vaccinated, please contact your private insurance provider to verify insurance coverage for the vaccine. When speaking with an insurance representative, mention that the OSU Corvallis campus has been designated an “outbreak” status by federal, state and county public health officials. Students without insurance have options, including the Oregon Health Plan (541-766-2130), low-cost payment plans through the Benton County Health Department (541-766-6812), or if 18 years of age or younger, through Student Health Services.

During this outbreak, health officials encourage everyone to monitor their own health and note the following symptoms specific to this disease: high fever, a rash, headache, stiff neck, exhaustion, nausea or vomiting. If these symptoms develop, seek prompt medical evaluation and be sure to mention your student’s attendance at OSU and that there is a disease outbreak at the Corvallis campus.

Thank you for helping to ensure your student is vaccinated against meningococcal B disease by Feb. 15.


Dan Larson

Interim Vice Provost, Student Affairs


December 20, 2017

We have now had 3 additional cases of meningococcal disease during fall term 2017. This brings the total to 6 cases in the past year. Five cases are confirmed to be type B. Studies are pending on the most recent case.

OSU is now requiring that all students 25 and under be vaccinated against Meningoccus B by February 15, 2018. This disease can cause death in 10% of those who contract it and severe lifelong impairment including deafness, blindness, or loss of extremities in up to 20% of those afflicted.

Please be aware that meningococcal disease is uncommon. However, with the occurrence of multiple cases on our campus in the past year, the risk of OSU students contracting the infection is much higher than the risk in the general population. Meningococcal disease is not highly contagious. Transmission occurs through direct contact with droplets from an ill person coughing or sneezing, other discharges from the nose or throat, or by sharing of eating and drinking utensils, smoking devices, or through intimate contact. Those at highest risk include students age 25 and younger who live in on-campus housing or are members of - or visit - fraternal living groups associated with the university. 

The best way to prevent meningococcal disease is by vaccination. Oregon State requires incoming students under the age of 22 to have the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine, which covers multiple strains of the disease but not the B strain. Starting this fall, the university also began requiring incoming students age 25 and under to receive the meningococcal B vaccine series due to three (now five) confirmed cases on campus during the last academic year. This requirement has now been expanded to all Corvallis campus OSU students 25 and under. OSU Student Health Services and the Student Health Pharmacy continue to provide students meningococcal B vaccines through on-campus clinics or within the Student Health Service clinics. Many other health care providers in the community have the meningococcal B vaccine on request.

Benton County Health Department officials are working to identify and contact anyone who may have had enough close exposure to the recently ill student to require preventive antibiotic treatment. This treatment includes protection for all strains of meningococcal disease. Meanwhile, the county health department continues to conduct surveillance and follow up with possible contacts.

Health officials encourage everyone to monitor their own health and note the following symptoms specific to this disease: high fever, a rash, headache, stiff neck, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

If a family member attending Oregon State is experiencing these symptoms, we ask that they immediately visit their primary care physician or a nearby urgent care medical clinic or emergency room. OSU students experiencing these symptoms should visit OSU Student Health Services in Plageman Hall, which is located at 108 S.W. Memorial Place.

More information on meningococcal disease is available by calling the OSU Student Health Services Nurse Advice line at 541-737-2724 or Benton County Health Department communicable disease nurses at 541-766-6835 or by visiting these websites:




Influenza Information

(Updated 01-25-17)

We often see an increase Influenza(Flu) on campus during Winter Term. The best way to prevent Influenza is by getting vaccinated. Influenza vaccine is available at Student Health Services. The following is information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding Influenza.

What is Influenza (also called Flu)?

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:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

How Flu Spreads

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.

Period of Contagiousness

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.

Onset of Symptoms

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

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.

People at High Risk from Flu

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.

Preventing Flu

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.

Diagnosing 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.

Zika Virus Information

(Updated 02-10-17

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:

  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain
  • Conjunctivitis (red eyes).

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 female: Use condoms or do not have sex for at least 8 weeks after her return from an area with Zika (if she doesn’t have symptoms), or for at least 8 weeks from the start of her symptoms (or Zika diagnosis) if she develops Zika.
  • If male: Use condoms or do not have sex for at least 6 months after his return from to an area with Zika (if he doesn’t have symptoms), or for at least 6 months from the start of his symptoms (or Zika diagnosis) if he develops Zika. This extended period is because Zika stays in semen longer than in other body fluids.

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.