Flu & Infectious Disease Information
If you have not had a Tdap vaccine as an adult, it is time to get one now!
Lane County Public Health has declared an outbreak of pertussis, also called whooping cough, in our community. Pertussis is a very contagious respiratory disease caused by bacteria that can affect people of all ages but can be especially serious, even deadly, for infants. In adults and older children the initial symptoms are similar to those of a cold and can include a runny nose, sneezing, and a cough. Over several days the cough may worsen and often occurs in violent, uncontrollable bouts which can make it hard to breathe and may cause vomiting. After a spasm of coughing a person may often need to take deep breathes that cause a “whooping” sound, hence the name.
Pertussis is spread to nearby people through respiratory droplets from an infected person coughing, sneezing, laughing, shouting, or singing. Infected people are most contagious for the first two weeks of illness, even during the period when it may appear that the person “just has a cold”.
Pertussis is preventable through a vaccine, in young children the vaccine is called DTaP and in older children and adults it is called Tdap. All community members are urged to get vaccinated immediately if they are not up to date on their vaccinations. Pertussis can cause death in infants, and even for healthy adults it can cause weeks of violent coughing and a period of time when isolation at home is required. Proper respiratory hygiene, covering your cough or sneeze, and frequent hand washing, can also prevent the spread of this serious illness.
The LCC Health Clinic has Tdap available by appointment. Please call or stop by to request an appointment to get a Tdap if you have not yet had one as an adult. Tdap is also available from your primary care provider and at many pharmacies.
If you believe you may have pertussis or have been exposed to it, please contact your health care provider immediately. Treatment is available and infected individuals need to stay home to help prevent the spread of the disease.
Many people with the flu do not need to seek medical care or medications. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If you are 65 or older, pregnant, have any of these chronic conditions, or are very sick and worried about your illness, call to make an appointment or contact your health care provider.
Stay home for at least 24 yours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or other necessities. Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol.
Symptoms of the flu include:
- Fever or feeling hot/cold
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Body aches
- Some people have vomiting or diarrhea
Seek emergency care if you have any of these symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in your chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness or confusion
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Flu like symptoms that improve but then return with a fever and worse cough
If you are sick make sure to drink pleny of fluids and get a lot of rest.
Prevent the flu! Wash your hands frequently and get the flu shot. Now is the perfect time to get your flu shot. Call the Health Clinic to make an appointment.
Building 18 Room 101
Make an appointment today!
Do I have a cold or the flu?
It can be difficult to tell if you have a cold or the flu since the many of the symptoms are the same. Symptoms of the flu can include body aches, headaches, fever, severe cough and exhaustion. Colds are usually not as severe as the flu, symptoms often include a runny nose, sore throat and a cough.
Colds, Coughs and Sore Throats
While colds can make you feel miserable, usually the best remedies are simple things you can do for yourself at home. Most cold-like simptoms are cuased by viruses and viruses are not treatable with antibiotics.
Unless you have a chronic medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, or an immune deficiency, you generally do not need to seek medical attention for the typical symptoms of a cold such as runny nose, stuffy nose, mild sore throat, cough, and low grade fever; all lasting less than 5-7 days.
If you are not getting better after 5-7 days, have a chronic condition such as diabetes or asthma, or have a sore throat with a feaver and NO cough (possible strep throat), please make an appointment at the health clinic. If you have difficulty breathing, severe pain, or a combination of headache, fever and/or neck stiffness, go to the emergency department.
And most importantly, avoid getting sick by washing your hands frequently and getting plenty of sleep!
Whether you have a sore throat, cough, runny nose or ear ache, it is miserable to be sick. There are many things you can do to help yourself feel better while the illness runs its course.
Helpful tips on how to feel better when you are sick.
What is Meningococcal disease?
Meningitis may be caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungal infections.
Meningitis type B is caused by a bacteria that can result in a serious and sometimes life-threatening infection. This can often cause swelling of the tissue around the brain or spinal cord, or a serious blood infection. If you think you have been exposed to meningitis type B, talk to your health care provider immediately. Preventative treament or vaccination may prevent you from contracting meningitis.
Symptoms of meningitis:
Early symptoms may seem like a cold or flu and symptoms can appear suddenly and get worse quickly.
- Stiff Neck
- Sensitivity to light
If you think you have meningitis go to the emergency room immediately!
Meningitis is spread through respiratory or throat secretions by close personal contact such as sharing drinks, cigarettes, utensils or toothbrushes. Kissing or extended contact with someone that is infected can also spread the bacteria. Meningitis is not as contagious as a cold or the flu, but it is a serious infection. To prevent meningitis:
Do not share: water bottles, cigarettes/e-cigarettes, utensils, cups/glasses, toothbrushes, or lipstick/lip balm
Wash or sanitize your hands often.
If it is appropriate for you, get vaccinated. It is not currently recommended for all college students to receive the meningitis type B vaccine. There are certain individuals however, such as people without a spleen, who should be vaccinated. To find out if you should be vaccinated, talk to your health care provider.
If you have questions about meningitis, your symptoms, or the vaccination, please feel free to call us at 541-463-5665
Zika virus infections are concerning. If a pregnant woman is infected with Zika it may cause birth defects in the baby. Also, people may develop Guillain-Barre' syndrome (an illness of the nervous system) after contracting the Zika virus.
Zika virus infections may cause a mild rash, fever, joint pain or conjunctivitis (red eyes). There may not be any symptoms of infection at all.
Zika Virus can be spread by:
- Mosquito bites from infected mosquitoes
- Sexual contact with a person who has Zika
- Infected mother to child
- Blood transfusion
Mosquitoes infected with Zika have been located in many areas of Central and Sout America, as well as the Caribbean including Puerto Rico. The latest travel information related to Zika
Protect yourself from mosquito bites if traveling to a Zika infected area.
If you or your sexual partner has recently returned from an area with Zika be sure to use condoms to prevent the spread of Zika from one partner to another.
If you return from a Zika infected area it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites for 3 weeks after you return.
Pregnant women or women that could become pregnant should avoid travel to areas with Zika as well as unprotected sexual contact with someone that my be infected with Zika.
Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered insect repellent to protect yourself and your family from Zika and other viruses spread through mosquito bites.
Look for one of the following active ingredients: (view the CDC flier)
|Active ingredient||Some brand name examples (not an endorsement)|
|Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection|
|DEET||Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, Ultrathon|
|Picaridin, also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin||Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, Autan (outside the United States)|
| Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) |
Do not use OLE or PMD on children under the age of 3.
|IR3535||Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition, SkinSmart|
Using Insect Repellent
- Always follow the product label instructions
- Reapply insect repellent as directed
- Do not spray repellent on the skin under clothing
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and repellent second
- The effectiveness of non-EPA registered insect repellent, including some natural repellents, is unknown.
Using Insect Repellent on Children
- Always follow the product label instructions
- Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old
- Do not use products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthanediol (PMD) on children under 3 years old
- Do not put insect repellent on a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, or cut or irritated skin
- Adults: Spray insect repellent onto your hands and then apply to a child’s face.
If you have any questions or concerns about Zika talk to your health care provider.
Although there are no known cases of LCC students or staff with norovirus, you may know that this very contagious illness has recently been more prevalent in the local community. The LCC Health Clinic is aware that students or staff may contract the norovirus and we want those with the illness to know what to do. We also want to protect others on campus from getting ill. If you develop symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea, please read the information below on how best to care for yourself at home and how best to prevent infecting other people. Please take note of when to seek further medical care, including emergency treatment. If you have symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea, have read the self care information, and have questions, please call the LCC Health Clinic to speak with a nurse or provider by phone. You will likely not be offered an appointment but will be advised to care for yourself at home or seek emergency medical attention if warranted. There are not medications to treat norovirus and the clinic is not able to provide rehydration.