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Letter to Campus Community, 2/20/2020: Health Update on COVID-19 / Novel Coronavirus

 

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

The university senior leadership and medical professionals in the Health and Wellness Center continue to monitor the COVID-19 (2019 Novel Coronavirus) outbreak and to provide updates.

As of this date and time, there are NO SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 (2019 NOVEL CORONAVIRUS) on our campus.

We continue to monitor the evolving information from the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) on COVID-19 and remain in communication with the PA DOH, the Bethlehem Health Bureau, and local healthcare entities, and in consultation with health experts, regarding
recommendations for the safety of our campus community.  The CDC continues to believe and report that the immediate risk of this new virus to the American public is low.

As a reminder, on February 11, The World Health Organization (WHO) changed the name of 2019-nCov to COVID-19 so that it would not refer to any specific geographical location, animal, or group of people. As shared in an earlier message, at Lehigh we embrace that we live in a global community. Disease knows no borders (https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/whatwedo/global.htm) and has no preference for nationality. We must continue to practice our value as an equitable community while we work together to keep our campus safe and healthy.

We respect the privacy rights of our students, faculty, staff, and community members and will continue to balance our responsibilities under the privacy laws and the public health laws as we manage this ongoing situation.   As noted in previous updates, any student who comes to the Health and Wellness Center with fever and respiratory symptoms, in addition to routine medical assessment, is also evaluated regarding recent travel history, possible contacts with a person with known or suspected COVID-19, and health status, as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. 

As noted, we understand that frustration and apprehension are natural responses to new and evolving health events such as these, and we continue to be grateful for the community's remarkable understanding and cooperation as we respond to the evolving health guidance and information surrounding the outbreak. We also want to acknowledge that this is also a uniquely difficult time for our community members who may be worried about friends and family who live in or near regions affected. Our thoughts continue to be with them.

Although COVID-19 updates continue to dominate the news, we want to remind our community that we are seeing a significant number of students with the flu. Please remember to take precautions to prevent the spread of flu, including getting a yearly flu shot, and practicing good hand hygiene. Students who have not received the flu shot yet this season can take advantage of the free flu shots provided by our Health and Wellness Center (https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/health-wellness-center). If you are sick, please stay home and contact your professors to ensure your ability to keep up with your coursework (read the message sent to faculty on February 7:)

https://www2.lehigh.edu/news/2720-novel-coronavirus-and-student-absences-from-class


Visit the website to read the latest updates and to find additional resources, including answers to frequently asked questions:
https://www2.lehigh.edu/news/updates-on-novel-coronavirus.

The Health and Wellness Center is open:
Monday - Thursday, 8:15 am - 4:00 pm and Friday, 9:15 am - 4:00 pm.

There are two ways to make appointments at Lehigh's Health & Wellness Center:

1.  Make an online appointment with one of the Health and Wellness Center nurses online at least one hour and up to one week in advance by clicking on the patient portal and following the simple instructions. Appointments can be made through the portal 24/7/365 and is quick, simple, and convenient.  If students require treatment by one of our physicians or nurse practitioners, that will be arranged at the time of the nursing appointment. Please call us if you are unable to find an online appointment, especially if your concern is of an urgent nature.

2.   Call 610-758-3870 during office hours to schedule an appointment. 

*Please be advised we are an appointment-based office. We prioritize walk-ins with emergent issues and will do our best to accommodate you in a timely manner.   

After-hours and on weekends, please call 610-758-3870 to talk with the HWC clinician-on-call. The Counseling Center is also available for support and can be reached at 610-758-3880, Mon. - Fri. 8am-5pm. Overnight on-call crisis services are also available and students can be connected to a clinician calling this same number.

Sincerely,

Lehigh University

Health and Wellness Center Team

Letter to Campus Community, 2/13/2020: Health Update on Novel Coronavirus

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

The university senior leadership and medical professionals in the Health and Wellness Center continue to monitor the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak and to provide updates.

As of this date and time, there are NO SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED CASES OF 2019-NOVEL CORONAVIRUS on our campus.

We continue to remain in constant communication with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH), the Bethlehem Health Bureau, and local healthcare entities, and in consultation with health experts, regarding recommendations for the safety of our campus community.

On February 11, The World Health Organization (WHO) changed the name of 2019-nCov to COVID-19 so that it would not refer to any specific geographical location, animal, or group of people. As shared in an earlier message, at Lehigh we embrace that we live in a global community. Disease knows no borders (https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/whatwedo/global.htm) and has no preference for nationality. We must continue to practice our value as an equitable community while we work together to keep our campus safe and healthy. We respect the privacy rights of our students, faculty, staff, and community members and will continue to balance our responsibilities under the privacy laws and the public health laws as we manage this ongoing situation.

We understand that frustration and apprehension are natural responses to new and evolving health events such as these, and we have been grateful for the community's remarkable understanding and cooperation as we respond to the evolving health guidance and information surrounding the outbreak. We also want to acknowledge that this is also a uniquely difficult time for our community members who may be worried about friends and family who live in or near regions affected. Our thoughts continue to be with them.

Although 2019-nCoV/COVID-19 updates continue to dominate the news, we want to remind our community that we are seeing an uptick in cases of the flu. Please remember to take precautions to prevent the spread of flu, including\ getting a yearly flu shot, and practicing good hand hygiene. Students who have not received the flu shot yet this season can take advantage of the free flu shots provided by our Health and Wellness Center (https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/health-wellness-center). If you are sick, please stay home and contact your professors to ensure your ability to keep up with your coursework (read the message sent to faculty on February 7:
https://www2.lehigh.edu/news/2720-novel-coronavirus-and-student-absences-from-class).


As noted in previous updates, any student who comes to the Health and Wellness Center with fever and respiratory symptoms, in addition to routine medical assessment, is also evaluated regarding recent travel history, possible contacts with a person with known or suspected 2019 nCoV/COVID-19, and health status, as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Visit the website to read the latest updates and to find additional resources, including answers to frequently asked questions:
https://www2.lehigh.edu/news/updates-on-novel-coronavirus.

The Health and Wellness Center is open:

Monday - Thursday, 8:15 am - 4:00 pm and Friday, 9:15 am - 4:00 pm.

After hours and on weekends, please call 610-758-3870 to talk with a clinician-on-call. The Counseling Center is also available for support and can be reached at 610-758-3880, Mon. - Fri. 8am-5pm. Overnight on-call services are also available and students can be connected to a clinician calling this same number.

Sincerely,

Lehigh University

Health and Wellness Center Team

 

Letter to Campus Community, 2/5/2020: Health Update on Novel Coronavirus

 

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

The university senior leadership and medical professionals in the Health and Wellness Center continue to monitor the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak and to provide updates.

New guidance from The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) now recommends that any person who traveled to mainland China or Hubei Province for the preceding 14 days--regardless of whether or not they are experiencing symptoms--should remain in isolation, either at home or in a comparable setting, avoid congregate settings, and limit public activities.

For individuals that fall into this category, the PA DOH has identified the Bethlehem Health Bureau as the public health entity responsible for developing a plan and the oversight of self-monitoring, checking in with students, and making any referrals for healthcare and travel. Students who fall into this category should contact Stephanie Oakley at the Bethlehem Health Bureau at her direct line at 610-997-7909. The Health and Wellness Center will continue to communicate with the Bethlehem Health Bureau to ensure continuity of care for our students. In addition, the Health and Wellness Center continues to work closely with the Office of International Affairs to identify and work with any students who fall into this category.

It's important to note that as of this date and time, there are NO SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED CASES OF 2019-NOVEL CORONAVIRUS on our campus.

We continue to remain in constant communication with the PA DOH, the Bethlehem Health Bureau, and local healthcare entities and in consultation with health experts, both internally and externally, to ensure our timely responsiveness to these evolving guidelines and recommendations for the safety of our campus community.

We respect the privacy rights of our students, faculty, staff, and community members and will continue to balance our responsibilities under the privacy laws and the public health laws as we manage this evolving situation. We live in a global community. Disease knows no borders and has no preference for nationality (https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/whatwedo/global.htm). We must continue to practice our value as an equitable community while we work together to keep our campus safe and healthy.

As noted in previous updates, any student who comes to the Health and Wellness Center with fever and respiratory symptoms, in addition to routine medical assessment, is also evaluated regarding recent travel history, possible contacts with a person with known or suspected 2019-nCoV, and health status, as per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Although 2019-nCoV updates continue to dominate the news, we are reminding people that we are in the midst of influenza season and recommend precautions to prevent the spread of flu, including getting a yearly flu shot, and practicing good hand hygiene. Students who have not received the flu shot yet this season can take advantage of the free flu shots provided by our Health and Wellness Center (https://studentaffairs.lehigh.edu/content/health-wellness-center).

Questions and Answers:

What is the university doing to be vigilant?

We continue to work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH), the Health Bureau of the City of Bethlehem, and local healthcare partners and are following all recommendations and guidelines for the management and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty. As noted above, given that we are in the midst of influenza (flu) season, we continue to advise the campus community to follow standard recommendations for the prevention of flu and other respiratory viruses. Additional guidance can be found below.

As previously communicated, the university has decided to suspend summer programs in China. This suspension will not extend to other programs abroad, including those in other parts of Asia and Pacific Rim. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide ongoing guidance to students and families as this situation evolves. We will also follow CDC recommendations to keep the campus healthy in respect to scheduled international visitors coming to our campus.

Should I participate in campus activities and events?

Individuals without any symptoms can continue to participate in campus events. The university, following guidance from the PA DOH, CDC and World Health Organization (WHO), has not canceled any activities or events due to the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus concerns.

Should we be using masks?

Masks are not recommended at this time for students, staff, and faculty who are not experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms.

Will Lehigh screen every person who has recently been in China and those with whom they have been in contact?

Lehigh University is following current PA DOH, CDC, and WHO guidelines on all screening and response protocols. These protocols may continue to evolve as new information regarding the 2019 Novel Coronavirus becomes known.

What should I do if I believe I have Novel Coronavirus?

These criteria have evolved. Up-to-date criteria are available at:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

If you are a student and experiencing symptoms you believe are in line with 2019 Novel Coronavirus, please consult with the Health and Wellness Center or your own physician immediately. If you have a fever or have a cough, you should remain home, and minimize your exposure to others, and call our Health and Wellness Center or your healthcare provider for additional guidance.

The University also has a strong partnership with local health care providers, such as nearby St. Luke's University Health Network, who are available to provide emergency medical evaluation and treatment as necessary. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

The Health and Wellness Center is open Monday - Thursday, 8:15 am - 4:00 pm and Friday, 9:15 am - 4:00 pm. After hours and on weekends, please call 610-758-3870 to talk with a clinician-on-call. Our clinical staff can assess your particular history and symptoms and make recommendations.

Important standard recommendations to prevent the spread of respiratory infections include:

  • If you are sick - stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Get your yearly flu shot - although there is no vaccine for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, the flu shot provides critical protection against influenza.


The CDC reports symptoms of 2019 Novel Coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or could take as long as 14 days after exposure.

The CDC recommends everyday preventative measures to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

  • Get your annual flu vaccine (the Health and Wellness Center still has free flu shots).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


What is a coronavirus? How is it transmitted?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS. When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.

It's important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

How is the Novel Coronavirus treated?

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

What if I have additional questions?

The information that exists about Novel Coronavirus continues to evolve. We will continue to provide updates as we learn of them, and you can also continue to check the below resources.

 Additional resources:

  • The Health and Wellness Center hours are Monday - Thursday, 8:15 am - 4:00 pm and Friday, 9:15 am - 4:00 pm. After hours and on weekends, please call 610-758-3870 to talk with a clinician-on-call. Our clinical staff can assess your particular history and symptoms and make recommendations.
  • The Health and Wellness Center has free flu shots available for students. Call or visit the website to schedule an appointment. 
  • Staff in the Counseling Center are aware that for some students, fear and anxiety about becoming sick can disrupt sleep, studying, and finding pleasure in being with friends. They also know that sharing the thoughts and feelings associated with those concerns, with a person willing to listen, can often be quite helpful in getting back to normal routines. Counselors are available and welcome and invite students to call the center to schedule an appointment to help address their concerns, anxiety and coping. The University Counseling Center can be reached at 610-758-3880, Mon. - Fri. 8am-5pm. Overnight on-call services are also available and students can be connected to a clinician calling this same number.
  • Visit the CDC for additional information about the Novel Coronavirus (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html).
  • For more information about flu and other respiratory illnesses, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm and https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/.


The Health and Wellness Center will continue to review and monitor the situation and update students and staff as new information becomes available. Ongoing updates will be published to the university website.

Sincerely,

Lehigh University

Health and Wellness Center Team

 

 

Letter to Campus Community, 2/2/2020: Health Update on Novel Coronavirus

Dear Members of the Campus Community,


The university senior leadership and medical professionals in the Health and Wellness Center have been monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak since it emerged, and continue to do so.

As of this date and time, there are NO SUSPECTED OR CONFIRMED CASES OF 2019-NOVEL CORONAVIRUS on our campus. 

As mentioned in previous campus health updates, the Health and Wellness Center has reached out to the Office of International Affairs to ensure ongoing communication with international students.

Given the evolution of the outbreak, the university has decided to suspend summer programs in China. This suspension will not extend to other programs abroad, including those in other parts of Asia and Pacific Rim. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide ongoing guidance as the situation evolves. We will also follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations to keep the campus healthy in respect to scheduled international visitors coming to our campus. As we take these prudent measures, we remain an institution that deeply values its global partnerships, our ongoing commitment to diversity, and the vital contributions of community members who come from around the world. We also respect the privacy rights of our students, faculty, staff, and community members and will continue to balance our responsibilities under the privacy laws and the public health laws as we manage this evolving situation.     


Any student who presents to the Health and Wellness Center with fever and respiratory symptoms, in addition to routine medical assessment, is also evaluated regarding recent travel history, possible contacts with a person with known or suspected 2019-nCoV, and health status, as per CDC guidelines. If you are a student, staff or faculty, the CDC recommends avoiding all non-essential travel to China.

Questions and Answers:

What is the university doing to be vigilant?

We continue to work closely with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH), the Health Bureau of the City of Bethlehem, and local healthcare partners and are following all recommendations and guidelines for the management and wellbeing of our students, staff, and faculty. Given that we are in the midst of influenza (flu) season, we continue to advise the campus community to follow standard recommendations for the prevention of flu and other respiratory viruses. Additional guidance can be found below.

As noted above, the university has decided to suspend summer programs in China. This suspension will not extend to other programs abroad, including those in other parts of Asia and Pacific Rim.  We will continue to monitor the situation and provide ongoing guidance to students and families as this situation evolves. We will also follow CDC recommendations to keep the campus healthy in respect to scheduled international visitors coming to our campus.

Should I participate in campus activities and events?

Individuals without any symptoms can continue to participate in campus events. The university, following guidance from the PA DOH, CDC and World Health Organization (WHO), has not canceled any activities or events due to the current 2019-novel Coronavirus concerns.

Should we be using masks?

Masks are not recommended at this time for students, staff, and faculty who are not experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms.

Will Lehigh screen every person who has recently been in China and those with whom they have been in contact?

Lehigh University is following current CDC and WHO guidelines on all screening and response protocols. These protocols may continue to evolve as new information regarding the 2019-novel Coronavirus becomes known.

What should I do if I believe I have novel Coronavirus?

These criteria have evolved.  Up-to-date criteria are available at
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html.
If you are a student and experiencing symptoms you believe are in line with 2019-novel Coronavirus, please consult with the Health and Wellness Center or your own physician immediately. If you have a fever or have a cough, you should remain home, and minimize your exposure to others, and call our Health and Wellness Center or your healthcare provider for additional guidance.

The University also has a strong partnership with local health care providers, such as nearby St. Luke's University Health Network, who are available to provide emergency medical evaluation and treatment as necessary. Before you go to a doctor's office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.

The Health and Wellness Center is open Monday - Thursday, 8:15 am - 4:00 pm and Friday, 9:15 am - 4:00 pm. After hours and on weekends, please call 610-758-3870 to talk with a clinician-on-call. Our clinical staff can assess your particular history and symptoms and make recommendations.

Important standard recommendations to prevent the spread of respiratory infections include:

  • If you are sick - stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Get your yearly flu shot - although there is no vaccine for the 2019-novel Coronavirus, the flu shot provides critical protection against influenza.
  • The CDC reports symptoms of 2019-novel Coronavirus may appear in as few as two days or could take as long as 14 days after exposure. Visit the CDC website for additional guidance:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/steps-when-sick.html

The CDC recommends everyday preventative measures to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

  • Get your annual flu vaccine (the Health and Wellness Center still has free flu shots).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


What is a coronavirus? How is it transmitted?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS and SARS. When person-to-person spread has occurred with MERS and SARS, it is thought to have happened mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread.

It's important to note that how easily a virus spreads person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.

How is the novel Coronavirus treated?

There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for 2019-nCoV infection. People infected with 2019-nCoV should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

What if I have additional questions?

The information that exists about novel Coronavirus continues to evolve. We will continue to provide updates as we learn of them, and you can also continue to check the below resources.

Additional resources:

  • The Health and Wellness Center hours are Monday - Thursday, 8:15 am - 4:00 pm and Friday, 9:15 am - 4:00 pm. After hours and on weekends, please call 610-758-3870 to talk with a clinician-on-call. Our clinical staff can assess your particular history and symptoms and make recommendations.
  • The Health and Wellness Center has free flu shots available for students. Call or visit the website to schedule an appointment. 
  • Staff in the Counseling Center are aware that for some students, fear and anxiety about becoming sick can disrupt sleep, studying, and finding pleasure in being with friends. They also know that sharing the thoughts and feelings associated with those concerns, with a person willing to listen, can often be quite helpful in getting back to normal routines. Counselors are available and welcome and invite students to call the center to schedule an appointment to help address their concerns, anxiety and coping.  The University Counseling Center can be reached at 610-758-3880 Mon. - Fri. 8am-5pm.  Overnight on-call services are also available and students can be connected to a clinician calling this same number.
  • Visit the CDC for additional information about the novel Coronavirus.
  • For more information about flu and other respiratory illnesses, please visit: 

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm and

https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/.

The Health and Wellness Center will continue to review and monitor the situation and update students and staff as new information becomes available. Ongoing updates will be published to the university website.


Sincerely,

Lehigh University
Health and Wellness Center Team

 

 

Letter to Campus Community, 1/24/2020: Campus Health Update

Dear Members of the Campus Community


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to actively monitor and manage the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in Wuhan, China.  As of this date and time, there are NO CASES OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS on our campus.  The Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center continues to be in daily communication with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) Bureau of Epidemiology (and they with the CDC), the Bethlehem Health Bureau and other local healthcare entities to ensure ongoing appropriate evaluation, management, and coordination of care for our students.

As mentioned in our previous campus health update, the Health and Wellness Center has reached out to the Office of International Affairs to ensure ongoing communication with international students, as well as to reach out to students from Wuhan City, China to assess recent travel and health status.  Additionally, any student who presents to the Health and Wellness Center with fever and respiratory symptoms, in addition to routine medical assessment, are also evaluated regarding recent travel history, possible contacts with a person with known or suspected 2019-nCoV, and health status, as per CDC guidelines.  If you are a student, staff or faculty, the CDC recommends avoiding all non-essential travel to China as they are currently under a Warning Level 3 Advisory.

If you have traveled to the city of Wuhan, China over Winter Break and have any symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath OR if you have had close contact with a person who is under investigation for the novel Coronavirus or who has been diagnosed, please call the Health and Wellness Center so that our clinical staff can assess your particular history and symptoms and make recommendations.  The Health and Wellness Center is open Monday - Thursday, 8:15am - 4:00pm and Friday, 9:15am - 4:00pm, after-hours and weekends, please call 610-758-3870 to talk with a clinician-on-call.   

The Health and Wellness continues to see many students with respiratory and flu-like symptoms that can include fever, body aches, headache, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, and fatigue. Viruses that cause colds and the flu can spread from infected people to others through the air and through close personal contact. You can also get infected through contact with stool or respiratory secretions from an infected person. This can happen when you shake hands with someone who has a cold or flu, or touch a surface, like a doorknob, that has respiratory viruses on it, then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose.  Following the health-conscious behaviors above will help to keep you healthy. 

The CDC recommends everyday preventative measures to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses including:

  • Get your annual flu vaccine (the Health and Wellness Center still has free flu-shots) 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


For additional information about the novel Coronavirus, please visit this link:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
For more information about flu and other respiratory illnesses, please visit:
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm
https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/.
https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/adenovirus.pdf


The Health and Wellness Center will continue to update the campus community as needed given this evolving health situation.

Sincerely,

Lehigh University
Health and Wellness Center Team

 

Letter to Campus Community, 1/24/2020:  Update on Cold and Flu Season

Dear Members of the Campus Community

As you may be aware, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to monitor the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, Wuhan, China outbreak (2019-nCoV).   

As with many rapidly evolving situations, it is important to have accurate and clear health information available. As of this date and time, there are NO CASES OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS on our campus. The Health and Wellness continues to see many students with respiratory and flu-like symptoms, but NO CASES OF NOVEL CORONAVIRUS.

The Health and Wellness Center has reached out to the Office of International Affairs to ensure ongoing communication with international students, as well as to identify any students who are from Wuhan City, China (who we are specifically reaching out to).  For students presenting to the Health and Wellness Center with fever and respiratory symptoms, in addition to routine medical assessment, we are also asking about recent travel history, possible contacts with a person with known or suspected 2019-nCoV, and health status, as per CDC guidelines.   

We have been in regular and close contact with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) Bureau of Epidemiology and they, in turn, are in close contact with the CDC.  In addition, we are coordinating with the Bethlehem Health Bureau and other local healthcare entities to ensure appropriate evaluation, management, and coordination of care for our students.

For additional information about Coronavirus, please visit this link:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

It is also important to remember that we are in the midst of influenza (flu) season. As stated, there are a high number of cases of influenza in the local community, as well as on the Lehigh University campus. Influenza is a viral illness that typically causes fever, body aches, headache, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, and fatigue. It can be difficult to determine if an illness is typical "flu" just based on symptoms.

If you have not had the flu shot yet this year (since August 1, 2019), please get the flu shot. Currently the Health and Wellness Center has free flu shots available.

The Health and Wellness Center will continue to update the campus community as needed given this evolving health situation.

Sincerely,

Lehigh University
Health and Wellness Center Team
 

Letter to Campus Community, 1/22/2020:  A Message Regarding Flu and Virus Season 

Dear Members of the Campus Community,


As we start up our Spring semester, the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center (HWC) would like to remind students that we continue to be in the midst of cold and flu season.  The local community has been seeing a high number of cases of influenza this winter.  The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. It is not too late to get a flu shot this year, so if you have not had your flu shot, please come in to the HWC to get yours.

As you may be aware, there is an outbreak of a novel Coronavirus in Wuhan City, China (named 2019-nCoV), but cases have been identified in other areas of China and the world.  Symptoms include fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (cough, difficulty breathing).  Per current recommendations from the CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health, criteria for evaluating persons in the United States for 2019-nCoV include:
1) persons who have fever AND symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) AND in the last 14 days before symptom onset have either a history of travel from Wuhan City, China or who have had close contact with a person who is under investigation for 2019-nCoV while that person was ill and 2) persons with fever OR symptoms of lower respiratory illness (e.g., cough, difficulty breathing) AND in the last 14 days have had close contact with a person who has laboratory-confirmed 2019-nCoV.

This will likely continue to be an evolving investigation with evolving recommendations as this is a fluid situation.   We have been in contact with the PA Department of Health regarding this situation and are continuing to monitor recommendations from the CDC and PA Department of Health.

At this time if any student who has traveled to Wuhan City, China has any symptoms of fever or respiratory symptoms, please contact the LU HWC to be seen for evaluation.  The HWC will follow guidance from the CDC and PA DOH in evaluating patients.

Additional Information is available at the following link: 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Sincerely,
Lehigh University
Health & Wellness Center Team

Letter to Campus Community, 1/22/2020:  Recall on Medication 

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

We are writing to let you know that the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center recently received correspondence from Glenmark, a distributor of ranitidine (Zantac), informing us of a voluntary recall of this product.

This product, which the Health and Wellness Center has used, is commonly employed to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. Since receiving notification of the recall of this medication, the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center has pulled all ranitidine from our inventory.
 

If this is a product you take, we encourage you to discontinue its use, and to reach out to us so that we can assist with consideration of alternative products. You can also consult with your personal health care provider for further recommendations. If you have ranitidine in your possession, please do not take it and dispose of it appropriately. (The LUPD installed a drug drop-off box in the lobby of their headquarters at 321 Packer Ave.).


Currently there are no recommendations for specific monitoring or follow up for persons who have taken ranitidine. If you seek medical care for any medical reason, please let your health care provider know you are or were taking ranitidine.

More information about this can be found at this link:
https://www.fda.gov/safety/medical-product-safety-information/zantac-ranitidine-safety-information-ndma-found-samples-some-ranitidine-medicines.


Sincerely,

Lehigh University
Health and Wellness Center   

 

Letter to Campus Community, 11/23/19:  Health Advisory on Acute Respiratory Illness

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

We continue to be in the midst of cold and flu season in our community.  In follow-up to a campus wide email on November 4th, we continue to see cases of Adenovirus on our campus.  

Adenovirus is a type of virus that can cause a variety of illnesses including upper and lower respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infection, neurological infection and eye infection.  There are many distinct types of adenovirus.  Typically symptoms are relatively mild, and can present as an upper respiratory tract infection, similar to the "common cold" with cough, fever, and sore throat. People with adenovirus infections can also involve the lower respiratory tract (bronchitis or pneumonia), eyes (conjunctivitis or "pink eye"), gastrointestinal tract (diarrhea) , liver (hepatitis) or brain (encephalitis).

Most infections are mild and will go away without any treatment.  There is no specific treatment for adenovirus infections.  Rarely a person can have a severe illness or death.

Symptoms "mimic" other acute respiratory illnesses.  Diagnosis of adenovirus infection is made by obtaining a nasal swab sample and sending it to a lab for specific adenovirus testing.

The most important measures to prevent spread of adenovirus infection to others is frequent hand washing with soap and water and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Adenovirus can survive on surfaces (such as door knobs, furniture, tables, utensils) for up to 30 days. In addition, adenovirus is a fairly "hardy" virus and is not readily killed with many typical disinfectants. Bleach-containing products should be used for cleaning.  

It is important for people who are ill to "self-isolate" and avoid close contact with others.  People with adenovirus infection can continue to shed virus for days to weeks, even after feeling well.

For additional specific information about Adenovirus Infections and outbreaks go to the following link:

https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/adenovirus.pdf

Sincerely,

Lehigh University Health and Wellness Team

Letter to Campus Community, 11/4/19:  Health Advisory on Acute Respiratory Illness

 
Dear Members of the Campus Community,
 

This is a reminder that we are once again in the midst of cold and flu season in our community. The 'common cold' is often caused by viruses such as Rhinovirus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), Parainfluenza Virus and Adenovirus.  We have had several Adenovirus cases on our campus.  It is important to remember that there are many, many strains of Adenovirus and, that while most of the strains cause relatively mild symptoms, certain strains have been associated with more severe infections.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses. It is not too late to get a flu shot this year.

The Lehigh University Health & Wellness Center (HWC) continues to partner with the Pennsylvania Department of Health in their Influenza-Like Illness Surveillance Program. The HWC routinely sends samples from our students to the state for virus identification. The HWC continues to be diligent and aggressive with infection surveillance on our campus.

What to Expect

Most people get colds and the flu in the winter and spring, but it is possible to get these infections any time of the year. Symptoms can include:

  • fever
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • headaches
  • body aches

Most people recover from these infections within 7-10 days. However, people with weakened immune systems, asthma, or other chronic or medical conditions may develop more serious illness.

How to Protect Yourself

Viruses that cause colds and the flu can spread from infected people to others through the air and through close personal contact. You can also get infected through contact with stool or respiratory secretions from an infected person. This can happen when you shake hands with someone who has a cold or flu, or touch a surface, like a doorknob, that has respiratory viruses on it, then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose. You can help reduce your risk of getting these infections:

  • Get vaccinated against the Flu! Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors' visits, and missed work and school due to the flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Unfortunately there is no vaccine available to protect you against the viruses that cause the common cold
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Wash them for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Viruses that cause respiratory infections can live on your hands, and regular handwashing can help protect you from getting sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Viruses that cause respiratory infections can enter your body this way and make you sick
  • Stay away from people who are sick. Sick people can spread viruses that cause these infections through close contact with others

How to Protect Others

If you have a cold or the flu, you should follow these tips to help prevent spreading it to other people:

  • If you are sick with cold or flu symptoms, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone (without the use of a fever-reducing medicine), except to get medical care or for other necessities
  • Avoid close contact with others, such as hugging, kissing, or shaking hands
  • Move away from people before coughing or sneezing
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue then throw it away, or cough and sneeze into your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose
  • Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects such as keyboards and doorknobs

How to Feel Better

  • There is no cure for a cold or the flu. To feel better, you need to get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids
  • Over-the-counter medicines may help ease many symptoms
  • If you are diagnosed with the flu, you may be prescribed antiviral medications such as Tamiflu. Antiviral drugs can make flu illness milder and shorten the time you are sick. They may also prevent serious flu complications\

For more information, please visit

https://www.thoracic.org/patients/patient-resources/resources/adenovirus...

 and the CDC's website on the flu: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm and on

the common cold: https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/.

 

Sincerely,

Lehigh University

Health & Wellness Center Team

 
 
Letter to Campus Community, 10/31/19:  Health Advisory on Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD)
 

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

We are writing to make you aware that the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center has been seeing cases of Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease (HFMD), which is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than five years old. It can also occur in older children and adults. The infection usually starts with a fever, sore throat, malaise (general feeling of being unwell), decrease in appetite, followed in 1-2 days by appearance of painful sores in the mouth and a non- itchy rash, which characteristically appears on the palms and soles of the feet, but may be on any part of the body. The sores that appear in the back of the mouth can blister and can be quite painful and may make it uncomfortable to eat and drink, making dehydration a common complication. Symptoms typically resolve in 7-10 days without medical treatment.

Complications are uncommon, but if high fever persists or the condition worsens, the affected individuals should seek medical care.

HFMD is caused by viruses that belong to the Enterovirus group, most commonly Coxsackievirus A16. These viruses can be found in an infected person’s nose and throat secretions (saliva, sputum or nasal mucus), in blister fluid and in feces.

The disease can be spread through direct personal contact, infected air (when an infected person coughs or sneezes), contact with feces (from the unwashed hands of an infected person) and contact with contaminated objects and surfaces.

Outbreaks can occur when individuals are gathered in residence halls or locker rooms, and are not uncommon on college campuses. Methods used to prevent the spread of the disease include frequent handwashing with soap and water – particularly after using the restroom – and cleaning and regularly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, refrigerator handles, keyboards and electronic devices. Experts also suggest avoiding close personal, physical contact (such as hugging and kissing) and avoiding the sharing of eating utensils or drinks.

You can read more about HFMD at
https://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/index.html.

Generally, a person with hand, foot, and mouth disease is most contagious during the first week of illness. People can sometimes be contagious due to continued shedding of the virus in feces for days or weeks after symptoms go away. Some people, especially adults, may become infected and not develop any symptoms, but they can still spread the virus to others. This is why people should always try to maintain good hygiene, such as frequent handwashing, so they can minimize their chance of spreading or getting infections. The viruses are “hardy” and can survive up to two weeks on surfaces, so cleaning contaminated surfaces with soap and water and then disinfecting them with a dilute solution of chlorine-containing bleach may help prevent spread of the virus.

Although there is no vaccine to prevent the disease, or a specific treatment for hand, foot and mouth disease, there are several things that you can do to relieve symptoms. These include taking over-the-counter medications to relieve pain and fever with either ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). You can also use salt water rinses, mouthwashes or over-the-counter throat sprays that numb mouth pain.

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the Lehigh University Health & Wellness Center at 610-758-3870.

 

Sincerely,

Lehigh University

Health and Wellness Center Team

 

NEXT STUDENT FLU IMMUNIZATION CLINICS

 
October 23, Wednesday 2nd floor UC 4:30-6:30pm
 
November 13, Wednesday  STEPS atrium 11am-1pm
 
Please Bring Insurance Card.  Most Insurance Accepted.  $35 Cost if Insurance Does Not Cover 
 
 
 
Flu Clinic Flyer
 
 
 

Letter Sent to Campus Community, 8/30/19:  Health Advisory on Mumps

 

Dear Members of the Campus Community,

 

We wanted to make you aware that a student came to the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center this afternoon with at least one symptom that could be consistent with mumps, but a conclusive diagnosis can only be made with a mumps test. We have obtained the appropriate tests and are awaiting results from the Pennsylvania Dept. of Health, which should be available early next week.

 

Out of an abundance of caution, and according to the Lehigh University Health & Wellness Center protocol as well as standard recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Pennsylvania Department of Health, the student did leave campus to return to the family home, where the student will remain for the recommended five-day isolation period. In accordance with advice from the Bethlehem Health Bureau, we are also contacting individuals who were in close contact with the student to make them aware.

As a reminder, even completion of the recommended two dose series of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) doesn't confer 100% protection from mumps. 

More information about mumps -- including symptoms, care and prevention -- was included in an earlier message we sent to campus. You can read that message in its entirety here:

https://www2.lehigh.edu/news/message-to-lehigh-community-regarding-mumps

 

We will keep you informed as more information becomes available.

Sincerely,
Ricardo Hall
Vice President for Student Affairs

David Rubenstein
Executive Director
Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center

 
 
 

Letter Sent to Campus Community, 8/21/19:  Message Regarding Mumps

 

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

 

We are writing to make you aware that a student who arrived at Lehigh on Sunday has been diagnosed with mumps, based on a positive test result that we received from the Pennsylvania Department of Health this afternoon. The student presented to the Lehigh University Health and Wellness Center on Monday and was evaluated and tested. Out of an abundance of caution, the student was immediately placed in isolation until test results came back. The student will remain in isolation until Saturday. That time frame is in ine with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Bethlehem Health Bureau. We have also been working with the Dean of Students office and Housing Services to make sure that the student's needs are being met while in isolation.

The student has had very limited contact with other individuals on the Lehigh campus, but we will be reaching out to those who may have had even minimal contact while on campus to make sure all proper precautions have been taken.

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 primarily spread via direct contact from droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks.  The virus may also be spread indirectly when someone with mumps touches items or surfaces without washing their hands and then someone else touches the same surface and rubs their mouth or nose.  Mumps is less contagious than measles or chickenpox.

  • 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.

You can read about mumps in this Pennsylvania Department of Health Fact Sheet:
https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/Diseases%20and%20Conditions/Mumps.pdf

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.

Most students at Lehigh have had both of their mumps vaccines, which are administered as a combination vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as part of the childhood recommended vaccines. Lehigh requires that all incoming students provide evidence of two vaccinations against mumps or proof of immunity against mumps.

MMR vaccines are highly effective and the most effective prevention for mumps infection. However, the two doses of the MMR vaccine do not guarantee full immunity. Although there is a recommendation from the CDC to offer a third MMR during a mumps outbreak, that is not being recommended at this time.

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 (MMR) 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.

Students who have immunocompromising conditions or are on immunocompromising medications who may be particularly susceptible to infection, should contact their treating health care provider to discuss their particular risk and recommendations.

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.

We urge members of the campus community to practice routine precautions to help prevent the spread of illness, which include the following:
 

  • 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.

We will keep the campus community informed of any additional developments. In the meantime, we encourage anyone with questions or concerns to contact the Health and Wellness Center at 610-758-3870 or by email at inluhc@lehigh.edu.

Sincerely,
Ricardo Hall
Vice President for Student Affairs

David Rubenstein
Executive Director of the Health and Wellness Center