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Meningitis Information

 

Letter sent to the Campus Community on 4/23/18

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

We are writing to let you know that the student who was admitted to a local hospital last week with a suspected case of bacterial meningitis has improved significantly and was discharged from the hospital this evening.  Lehigh staff and administrators have been in contact with the student and family members, and we are all very grateful for what we expect will be a full recovery.  We want to stress that bacterial meningitis is a very serious infection.  Some types of meningitis may be prevented through vaccination. Currently, two vaccines exist that help protect against a type of bacterial meningitis known as Meningococcal meningitis. One of these vaccines protects against the A, C, W, and Y strains (brand names Menveo, Menactra and previously Menomune) and one exists for the B strains (brand names Bexsero and Trumenba).  Students may wish to check their immunization history by signing into their secure Patient Portal found on our website, www.lehigh.edu/health. Once logged in, students can simply hit the 'Immunizations' tab followed by the 'Print History' button.  Students who are not fully vaccinated can call the Health and Wellness Center or their primary care physician to inquire about obtaining Meningococcal vaccinations.

We are also advising anyone who is experiencing symptoms consistent with meningitis to either contact the Health and Wellness Center for an evaluation or seek care at one of our local hospital emergency departments since early treatment is critical. Common symptoms include fever, severe and sudden eadache, lethargy, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting and rash. 

Please contact the Health and Wellness Center with questions or concerns at 610-758-3870.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Hall
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Thomas Novak
Interim Director of the Health and Wellness Center

 

Letter sent to the Campus Community on 4/20/18

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

We are writing to update you on yesterday's message regarding a student admitted to a local hospital with a suspected case of bacterial meningitis. The student remains in the hospital, continues to respond to treatment and has improved significantly.  Lehigh University and Health and Wellness administrators have been in close contact with the student and the family, and are working with infectious disease specialists and public health officials. At this point, there continues to be no recommendation for administration of prophylactic antibiotics for other individuals.  We will keep you apprised as this situation develops. Please contact the Health and Wellness Center with questions or concerns at 610-758-3870.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Hall
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Thomas Novak
Interim Director of the Health and Wellness Center
 
 
Letter sent to the Campus Community on 4/19/18

 

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

We are writing to let you know that a Lehigh student was admitted to a local hospital late yesterday with a suspected case of bacterial meningitis. The student remains in the hospital for treatment and is improving. The LU Health and Wellness Center is working with infectious disease specialists on this development and, at this point, antibiotic prophylaxis  for close contacts has not been recommended. We will keep the campus community apprised of additional developments as more information becomes available. 
 

For more information about bacterial meningitis see:
https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/bacterial.html.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Hall
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Thomas Novak
Interim Director of the Health and Wellness Center

 

 

 

 

Pertussis Information

Letter sent to the Campus Community on 3/5/18

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

We wanted to make you aware that a student who recently sought care from the Health and Wellness Center has tested positive for Pertussis, which is a highly contagious illness that is spread by infectious droplets. The student is being treated for the infection and is recovering. The patient's housemates and closest contacts have been notified and are being treated as well. Commonly known as whooping cough, Pertussis is caused by a bacterium thati s usually spread to another person by coughing or sneezing or when saliva is shared. For this reason, Pertussis can be particularly problematic on college campuses. Pertussis is typically treated with common antibiotics.

You can read more about Pertussis at  http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/index.html.

The incubation period of pertussis is commonly 7 to 10 days, with a range of 4-21 days. Infected people are most contagious up to two weeks after the cough begins. It is extremely important that students who are experiencing symptoms suggestive of Pertussis contact the Health and Wellness Center at610-758-3870 to schedule an appointment for evaluation.The diagnosis of pertussis can be made based on its characteristic historyand physical exam findings. Laboratory testing may be done to confirm the presence of the bacteria, which involves taking a specimen from the back of the patient's throat.

Pertussis can be a very serious illness, especially for infants, pregnant women, those with underlying lung conditions and for those with compromised immune systems. Adults with pertussis can occasionally develop complications such as pneumonia, rib fracture from coughing and asthma exacerbations.

The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. In the United States, the recommended pertussis vaccine for infants and children is called DTaP. This is a combination vaccine that helps protect against three diseases - Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis. In addition, a vaccine booster called Tdap (brand names Adacel, Boostrix) is also available. A single booster dose of Tdap is recommended for all people beginning at age11.

Students can check their immunization history by signing into their secure Patient Portal found on our website, www.lehigh.edu/health. Once logged in, students can simply hit the 'Immunizations' tab followed by the 'PrintHistory' button. We also ask that you please take common sense precautions to prevent the
spread of disease, such as covering your mouth when coughing and washing hands frequently.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Hall
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Dr. Thomas Novak
Interim Director of Lehigh's Health and Wellness Center

 

 

Mumps Information

 

Letter sent to the Campus Community on 2/28/18

 

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

Yesterday, we wrote to inform you that a second Lehigh student had sought treatment from the Health and Wellness Center for symptoms consistent with Mumps. We were informed today by the Pennsylvania Department of Health State Laboratory that testing for this student was negative for the Mumps virus.  The student has recovered and has returned to campus.  We will keep you informed of any further developments.  Students are encouraged to contact the Health and Wellness Center at 610-758-3870 with questions or to schedule an evaluation if they are experiencing symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and loss of appetite. As a reminder, these symptoms are very common with many other viral illnesses and not necessarily indicative of Mumps. Classically, Mumps presents with swelling of the parotid gland(s) located in front of the lower part of the ear and often obscuring the angle of the jaw. We continue to encourage our community to take simple measures to reduce the spread of infection on our campus. Frequent hand-washing, refraining from sharing drinks and staying home from work or class when ill are vital in limiting the spread of illness. Thank you for your cooperation with these efforts.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Hall
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Dr. Thomas Novak
Interim Director of Lehigh's Health and Wellness Center

 

Letter sent to the Campus Community on 2/27/18

 

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

We are writing to make you aware that a second student has sought treatment from the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center for symptoms consistent with Mumps. We are currently awaiting results from a Mumps test from the state lab. As a precautionary measure, the student was immediately isolated, pending the results of the test.

As we noted in communications with you last week, the first student has completely recovered, and the sample we sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Health State Laboratory tested negative for the Mumps virus.

We will keep you apprised as this latest situation develops.

You can read more about Mumps – including common symptoms and directions for checking your individual immunization records for the Mumps vaccine – in messages we posted last week: https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/health-center-news

More information about Mumps can also be found on the website of the Centers for Disease Control at: https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html.

Students experiencing symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and loss of appetite should contact the Health and Wellness Center at 610-758-3870 to schedule an appointment to be evaluated. As a reminder, these symptoms are also very common with many other viral illnesses and not necessarily indicative of Mumps. Classically, Mumps presents with swelling of the parotid gland(s) located in front of the lower part of the ear and often obscuring the angle of the jaw.

Please continue to practice routine precautions we can all take to help prevent the spread of illness during a season already marked with an unusually high number of flu cases.

·         Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough into your elbow instead of your hand.

·         Wash hands frequently and thoroughly throughout the day, or use alcohol-based sanitizers.

·         Avoid sharing food and drinks (this includes drinking games) or participating in activities that result in saliva exchange.

·         Stay home from work or class when sick to avoid spreading the illness to others.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Hall

Vice Provost for Student Affairs

 

Dr. Thomas Novak    

Interim Director of Lehigh’s Health and Wellness Center

 

 

Letter sent to the Campus Community on 2/22/2018

 

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

We are writing to update you on the situation regarding a student who was evaluated at the Health and Wellness Center for their recent illness. As we mentioned in yesterday’s message, the student has fully recovered, but we were awaiting the results of the Mumps test from our state laboratory.

We have just been informed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health State Laboratory that the sample tested negative for the Mumps virus.

We still encourage students to check their immunization records by signing into their secure Patient Portal found on our website, www.lehigh.edu/health. Once logged in, students can click on the ‘Immunizations’ tab, followed by the ‘Print History’ button.

Students who have received two Mumps vaccines -- which are often administered with Measles and Rubella as part of the childhood MMR vaccine series -- have nearly 90 percent protection from contracting the Mumps virus. If a student has not had two vaccinations against Mumps, we strongly encourage the student to contact the Bethlehem Health Bureau at 610-865-7083 to schedule a vaccination. Students can also contact their primary care physician's office to schedule the vaccine.

In the event of an outbreak -- which in the case of Mumps is defined as three confirmed cases -- students who are unable to provide evidence of two Mumps vaccinations can be excluded from campus until 25 days after the last case of Mumps.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recently recommended that colleges and universities that have experienced Mumps outbreaks administer a third Mumps vaccine to persons previously vaccinated with two doses. At this time, there is no recommendation that Lehigh students receive a third Mumps vaccine.

It is extremely important, however, to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of Mumps and to seek medical attention and evaluation when appropriate. Common initial symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and loss of appetite. These symptoms are also very common with many other viral illnesses. The hallmark of Mumps, however, is the parotid gland swelling that typically follows two to three days later. More information can be found on the website of the Centers for Disease Control at: https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html.

Students experiencing illness should contact the Health and Wellness Center at 610-758-3870 to schedule an appointment for a full evaluation.

We also strongly encourage our community to be aware of routine precautions we can all take to help prevent the spread of illness during a season already marked with an unusually high number of flu cases.

·         Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough into your elbow instead of your hand.

·         Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly throughout the day, or use alcohol-based sanitizers.

·         Avoid sharing food and drinks (this includes drinking games) or participating in activities that result in saliva exchange.

·         Stay home from work or class when sick to avoid spreading the illness to others.

Thank you for your efforts to help us sustain a healthy Lehigh campus.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Hall

Vice Provost for Student Affairs

 

Dr. Thomas Novak    

Interim Director of Lehigh’s Health and Wellness Center

 

Letter sent to the Campus Community on 2/21/2018

 

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

We are writing to make you aware that a Lehigh student was recently tested for Mumps after visiting the Health and Wellness Center. Confirmatory Mumps testing is currently pending at the Pennsylvania Department of Health State Laboratory.

The student is no longer experiencing symptoms and has recovered from the illness. We wanted, however, to share the following information since Mumps is highly contagious and, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has recently become particularly prevalent on college campuses:

·  Mumps is caused by a virus and typically causes pain, swelling and tenderness of the parotid glands. The parotid glands sit in front of the lower front edge of the ear and the swelling often obscures the angle of the jaw. This swelling usually lasts at least two days and can last up to ten days.

·  Fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches and loss of appetite often precede parotid swelling by two to three days.

·  The incubation period from exposure to the virus to onset of symptoms is 12 - 25 days, with people typically showing symptoms starting on days 16 -18.

·  Mumps is most infectious from two days before, and until five days after, the onset of parotid gland swelling.

·  Mumps is spread via direct contact from respiratory secretions, saliva and contaminated surfaces: coughing, sneezing, sharing food/drinks/utensils, kissing, etc. 

·  Risk for infection increases with prolonged close contact, with roommates, housemates and intimate partners being particularly vulnerable. The risk for infection is much higher for those who are unvaccinated.

·  There is no 'cure' for Mumps. Bedrest, fluids and supportive care medications are often recommended. Most symptoms resolve within a week or two. 

·  Occasionally, complications such as swelling of the male and female reproductive organs, swelling of the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis, meningitis), pancreatitis and hearing loss can occur.

Most students at Lehigh have had both their Mumps vaccines, which are often administered with Measles and Rubella as part of the childhood MMR vaccine series. Lehigh requires that all incoming students provide evidence of two vaccinations against Mumps or proof of immunity against Mumps.

Two doses of the vaccine, however, does not guarantee full immunity. On some college campuses where a high incidence of mumps has been reported, students have been urged to get a third mumps vaccine.

Students can check their immunization history by signing into their secure Patient Portal found on our website, www.lehigh.edu/health. Once logged in, students can simply hit the ‘Immunizations’ tab followed by the ‘Print History’ button.

Students who have not received their Mumps vaccines should contact the Bethlehem Health Bureau at 610-865-7083 to schedule a vaccination. Students can also contact their primary care physician's office to schedule vaccination there. In the event of an outbreak, students who are unable to provide evidence of two Mumps vaccinations can be excluded from campus until 25 days after the last case of Mumps.

Lehigh’s Health and Wellness Center is advising that all staff, faculty and students take the following general precautions:

·         Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough into your elbow instead of your hand.

·         Wash hands frequently and thoroughly throughout the day, or use alcohol-based sanitizers.

·         Avoid sharing food and drinks (this includes drinking games) or participating in activity that may result in saliva exchange.

·         Stay home from work or class when sick to avoid spreading the illness to others.

For additional information on Mumps, please go to the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html.

If you are experiencing symptoms suggestive of Mumps, please contact the Health and Wellness Center at 610-758-3870 to schedule an appointment for evaluation.

Sincerely,

Ricardo Hall

Vice Provost for Student Affairs

 

Dr. Thomas Novak    

Interim Director of Lehigh’s Health and Wellness Center

 

 

Flu Information

 

It is Flu season again for Lehigh University.  The Lehigh University Health & Wellness Center and the Centers for disease Control (CDC) urges you to click on the link below and take the following actions to protect your self and others in your community from the flu:

/sites/studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/files/offices/LehighFlu2017.docx

 

 

 

Cost:  $40.00 covered by many insurance plans

Flu shots are available at local pharmacies-

Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and Ritter's

Clinics by Walgreens Pharmacy

                                                                                                                                   

 

 

                                          

 

Spring TB Gold Testing Schedule

MANDATORY TB screening and testing for at risk individuals will be scheduled for incoming Spring Semester students in January at the Lehigh University Health & Wellness Center, 36 Johnson Hall.  Please be sure to bring all health records with you at that time. Some vaccinations will be available for administration as well.  Results of the blood testing will be sent via secure messaging, available on the Online Patient portal, to individual students in 1 – 2 weeks with any instructions for required follow-up. Your class registration will be blocked if you do not check-in with the Health & Wellness Center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPRING BREAK: What to Know Before You Go

With highly anticipated spring break just a few weeks away, Lehigh’s team of health professionals wants to share some practical advice for students:

Before you head out:

  • Check out the prevalence of health risks at your destination, and line up necessary vaccinations and medications. Note that the Zika virus, which is primarily transmitted by infected mosquitos, presents a significant health issue in many countries around the globe, and that there are several steps you can take to help prevent Zika. More information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/zika
  • Make sure you can stay in touch. Contact your cell phone carrier to make sure you’ll have access to your services while you are away and what costs will be associated with long-distance calling, texts, etc.
  • Make a copy of your passport to carry and scan a copy of it into your phone. Be sure to also have a copy of your health insurance card or other important information saved to your phone.

While you’re away:

  • Check your sun exposure. Remember that the sun’s rays are stronger the closer you get to the Equator, and that sun-deprived winter skin can burn in a much shorter time. Wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30 strength. Apply it 20 minutes before sun exposure and reapply often.
  • Respect yourself and others: If you are sexually active, use latex condoms to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. And know what “consent” is and respect it for all forms of intimacy.
  • Look out for each other. Don’t fall victim to “vacation mentality” and assume no harm can come to you or your friends simply because you are in different location. Keep track of each other when you go out, and make sure your friends are in a state of mind to make safe, healthy decisions.
  • Know where to get help. Take a moment to find out the location of local medical facilities. Know who to call or where to go in the case of a medical emergency.
  • Be sure to take care when swimming in the ocean, particularly in areas where there are strong currents and rip tides. Even the strongest swimmers are at risk in such conditions.

 

 

 

 

  •  The Meningitis B vaccine is now available at the University Health Center -  Schedule your vaccination today!

http://www.wsj.com/articles/new-push-for-meningitis-b-vaccines-on-college-campuses-1441648703

Meningococcal Group B Vaccine FAQ's

I was already vaccinated against meningitis. What’s this new vaccine about?

Until just recently, the vaccines available were the quadrivalent conjugate vaccines, MCV-4. These vaccines protected against 4 serogroups (subtypes) of meningococcal disease, but it had been difficult for scientists to develop technology that would allow vaccination against a 5th important serogroup, B.

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Why should I care about the new vaccine? Isn’t the old vaccine (MCV-4) protection enough?

Unfortunately, because the older vaccines protected well against the other serogroups, the B serogroup has become a more common cause of illness, causing recent outbreaks at Princeton University and U.C. Santa Barbara. Additionally, two Lehigh students were stricken with meningitis B in November 2011.

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Why hasn’t the CDC endorsed the new vaccines yet?

CDC has recommended the serogroup B vaccine for certain high risk groups, and has given a soft or grade B  recommendation for routine use in adolescents and college students.  This new recommendation as of June 2015 means that most health insurance companies will cover the cost of getting vaccinated. 

Why are there two different types of the new vaccine?

Two pharmaceutical companies were able to use new technology to bring the new vaccines to market at almost the same time.

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How do the two new vaccines differ?

The bottom line is that neither vaccine is clearly superior with the data we have available currently.

Bexsero was used during the outbreaks at Princeton, and requires 2 doses at least one month apart.

Trumenba requires 3 doses over 6 months.

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Are the vaccines safe?

The rigorous FDA vaccine approval process has deemed them both as safe. It is however true that some issues with all new medicines, including vaccines, may not become clear for several years, once they are more widely used. The new vaccines, similar to MCV-4, can cause redness at the injection site, as well as fever.

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How much do the vaccines cost? Will my health insurance pay for it?

The Health and Wellness Center will provide the vaccines at cost to students. The current costs are as follows:

            Bexsero           $165, two doses required

            Trumenba       $125, three doses required

As always, our office accepts cash, check, GoldPLUS, and bursar billing, and will provide receipts for submission to insurance.

Families are advised to check with their insurance companies, as not all may be covering the cost of the new vaccines.

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Why is the Health and Wellness Center offering both of the vaccines?

It is too early to know which vaccines physician offices will be carrying. Once a student starts with one brand of the vaccine, the same vaccine product must be used for all doses.

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Will there be a vaccine that can protect against all the serogroups?

Hopefully, there will one day be technology that will allow for a vaccine against all five important serogroups, but that does not appear to be in the near future. The improved version of the quadrivalent vaccine (MCV-4) has been available since 2005.

 

News Update

 

Body fat testing is back at the Health Center!

Photo of measuring tape wrapped around scale the reads Check Your Body Fat

 

Proper Protocol for Tanita Body Composition Testing:

In order to obtain the most accurate results from your Tanita Body Composition Analyzer, please ensure the following conditions are met:

  • No alcohol 48 hours before the test
  • Avoid intense exercise 12 hours before the test
  • Avoid overeating or drinking (especially caffeinated products) 4 hours before the test
  • Empty bladder 30 minutes before the test
  • Avoid all diuretics for 7 days before test (if possible)
  • Test should be taken 3 hours after waking

INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE A PACEMAKER OR OTHER INTERNAL ELECTICAL MEDICAL DEVICES SHOULD NOT USE THIS PRODUCT

*Illness at the time of measurement may affect individual hydration levels, which may affect results.