As the spring semester is getting underway, so is the 2020 flu season. I wanted to
update you on flu activity in our area and ask for your help in preventing the spread
of flu in our community.
Influenza, the flu, is a contagious respiratory virus that can cause mild to severe
illness and can pose high risks for people with certain health conditions or compromised
The Center for Disease Control's (CDC) surveillance map shows widespread flu, or flu
like illness, activity throughout the southeast United States. More specifically,
the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Surveillance Summary demonstrates increased flu activity at this point in time compared to the past two
years in North Carolina. With those statistics in mind, you can take to help avoid
the flu and prevent the spread of flu and keep our campus healthy:
- The first and most important step in protecting yourself from the flu is to GET a
flu vaccine. It is not too late to get a flu shot. While the flu shot may not prevent
you from getting the flu, it is proven to be effective in helping reduce the severity
of symptoms and shorten recovery time if you do get sick. Health Services still has
- Know the symptoms of the flu, and seek medical care here at Health Services if you
experience these symptoms:
- Fever of 100.4F/38C degrees or higher or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu
has a fever)
- Headaches and/or body aches
- Cough and/or sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea (most common in children)
- Practice good prevention habits by WASHING your hands routinely. Particularly after
you have touched surfaces in common areas--avoid touching your face. Wash your hands
with either soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand
sanitizer rubbing your hands together until they are dry.
- Routinely wipe your pens, phones, keyboards and other common items that may be touched
or used by individuals other than yourself, in both your work environment and at home.
- Cover your mouth if you need to cough or sneeze, using a tissue or your elbow if necessary.
- Prevent the spread of germs! If you become ill, self-isolate until at least 24 hours
after your fever subsides. If you visit a medical provider, ask for a mask, even if
you are not experiencing symptoms, you may be exposed while at that medical office.
If you are diagnosed with the flu, the Office of Student Affairs is assisting with
documented medical absence notifications to allow you the necessary time to recuperate without furthering spreading illness
to the rest of campus.
Coronavirus Update as of Jan 27, 2020
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people; numerous
other coronaviruses circulate among animals, including camels, cats, and bats. Rarely,
animal coronaviruses can evolve and infect people and then spread between people such
as has been seen with Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/index.html)
and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV) (https://www.cdc.gov/sars/index.html
As of Jan 17, 2020 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues
to closely monitor an outbreak of a 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Wuhan City,
Hubei Province, China that began in December 2019. CDC has established an Incident
Management System to coordinate a domestic and international public health response.
An outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan City was initially reported
to WHO on December 31, 2019. Chinese health authorities have confirmed more than 40
infections with a novel coronavirus as the cause of the outbreak On January 13, 2020
public health officials in Thailand confirmed detection of a human infection with
2019-nCoV in a traveler from Wuhan, China. This was the first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV
documented outside China. On January 17, 2020 a second case was confirmed in Thailand,
also in a returned traveler from Wuhan City. On January 15, 2020 health officials
in Japan confirmed 2019-nCoV infection in a returned traveler from Wuhan City. These
persons had onset dates after January 3, 2020. The first case in the United States was announced on January 21, 2020, and screening precautions have been established
at several major US airports. The CDC continues to monitor and update on this rapidly
On January 21, 2020, CDC updated its interim travel health notice for this destination to provide information to people who may be traveling to Wuhan
City and who may get sick. The travel notice was raised from Level 1; Practice Usual
Precautions, to a Level 2: Practice Enhanced Precautions advising travelers that preliminary
information suggests that older adults with underlying health conditions may be at
increased risk for severe disease. CDC recommends avoiding non-essential travel to Wuhan, China. Chinese officials have closed transport within and out of Wuhan, including buses,
subways, trains, and the airport. The CDC recommends travelers to Wuhan who develop a fever or respiratory symptoms, including cough and
difficulty breathing, within two weeks of leaving should contact their doctor right
away and should call ahead before going to the clinic, urgent care or emergency room
so appropriate steps can be taken to avoid exposing others.
At this time of year, respiratory illnesses in people in North Carolina are most likely
due to infection with influenza or viruses that cause the common cold (NC Department of Health and Human Services update) People should take precautions to protect themselves from these infections, including
washing your hands and avoiding touching your face.
Health Services continues to monitor this changing situation and will continue to follow the guidance and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.
From January 1 to May 10, 2019, 839 individual cases of measles have been confirmed
in 23 states, based on data reported to the CDC.
This is an increase of 75 cases from the previous week, and new cases continue to
This is the greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since 1994 and since measles
was declared eliminated in 2000.
The states that have reported cases to CDC are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas,
Tennessee, and Washington.
In a given year, more measles cases can occur for any of the following reasons:
- an increase in the number of travelers who get measles abroad and bring it into the
- further spread of measles in U.S. communities with pockets of unvaccinated people.
Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed
by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles is highly contagious and spreads through
coughing and sneezing. Persons with measles are contagious from four days prior to
rash onset (with the rash onset considered day zero) through four days after rash
Measles is a public health concern and is reportable to the Communicable Disease Branch
of the NC Department of Health and Human Services to implement measure to control
the spread of illness.
As of May 16, 2019 NC has not experienced a positive case of measles, but if are experiencing
any of these symptoms and are concerned about potential exposure, please visit Health
Services to discuss your concerns.
Several infectious illnesses result from mosquito and tick bites. The simplest way
to prevent these illnesses is to prevent mosquito and tick bites through the use of
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently issued travel advisories
to areas infected with Zika virus, including parts of the United States. There are
five important things that you should know about Zika. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis
(red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to
a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough
to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and have either traveled to an infected
area or recently had mosquito bites please visit Health Services to discuss your concerns.
Other infections that can result from a mosquito or tick bites include:
Saint Louis Encephalitis
La Crosse Encephalitis
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Educate yourself and contact Health Services if you need more information.
Health Services if following the guidance and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.
There is a Level 2 Travel warning issued by the CDC to limit travel to Saudi Arabia,
and the neighboring countries of Iran, Iraq and Syria. For more information regarding
travel restrictions visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/coronavirus-saudi-arabia-qatar.
As of June 2015, there is still a Level 1 travel warning to South Korea and China.
For more information regarding travel restrictions to this area visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/mers-republic-of-korea
As of March 29, 2016 the World Health Organization issued the following statement:
The 9th meeting of the Emergency Committee convened by the WHO Director-General under
the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR) regarding the Ebola virus disease
outbreak in West Africa took place on 29 March 2016. In the Committee’s view, the
Ebola situation in West Africa no longer constitutes a Public Health Emergency of
International Concern and the temporary recommendations adopted in response should
now be terminated.
Health Services will continue to follow the guidance and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.
Persons arriving in the U.S. from an affected area or any traveler should monitor
their health and if feeling sick, contact their health provider immediately and tell
him or her about their recent travel and potential contacts before they go to the
doctor's office or emergency room to prevent potential transmission to others.
Students should contact Health Services at 828-227-7640 and ask to speak with a Registered
Nurse for questions or assistance.
Faculty and Staff should contact their primary care Provider or Health Services for