Public Health Information

Health Services closely monitors outbreaks of illness(es) that could potentially become public health emergencies based on the criteria from the Centers for Diseases Control and World Health Organization. The CDC is closely monitoring the widespread flu outbreak and subsequently hospitalization rates in the United States. 49 States are reporting above average flu activity. Educate yourself on how to prevent the spread of flu.

January 16, 2018

Influenza is widespread across the United States this flu season with 49 states, including NC, reporting a sharp increase in flu related visits to emergency departments and urgent cares, along with an increase in hospitalizations this past week.  The incident of reported flu or flu related illness has been above average across the country for the last six weeks, and reporting suggests an increased severity of flu symptoms based on FluView Activity Data collected by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, GA.

Health Services has been preparing for the return of students for spring semester, and the arrival of flu on our campus. Students, as well as faculty and staff, are urged to educate themselves and take precautions to avoid getting the flu and spreading the flu. Informational posters have been distributed across campus as well as included on digital signage and social media platforms monitored by the university.  

  • The first defense against flu is to receive the seasonal flu vaccine.   The vaccine may not prevent an individual from getting sick, but it may help the patient from avoiding the most severe flu symptoms.  Health Services has been able to work with the Jackson Co Health Department and acquire additional flu vaccines from the state department of public health that are now available at no cost to the patient.   Call 828-227-7640 to request your flu shot.
  • Other precautions include frequent hand washing, particularly after touching common surfaces like door handles and desk tops.  Avoid touching your face until you can wash or sanitize your hands. Also, avoid contact with patients sick with flu like symptoms. Patients are urged to wear a mask when seeking care in health services, both mask and hand sanitizer are available at each entrance to Health Services.
  • If you become sick, seek care quickly, there are antiviral medications that your medical provider can prescribe to help you recover more quickly.  Health Services also requests that patients come by themselves for their healthcare visit, reducing the risk of a well person being exposed to viruses. 

Regular updates will be made to this site when any new information becomes available. Information regarding flu activity in NC can be found at http://www.flu.nc.gov/, and information regarding flu activity nationally can be found at flu.gov and the CDC flu website.  

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 insect repellent.

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:

Zika

Chikungunya

Dengue

Malaria

Saint Louis Encephalitis

La Crosse Encephalitis

Lyme Disease

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
 

Educate yourself and contact Health Services if you need more information.

 

 

MERS Health Advisory Poster

 

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 Organtization (WHO) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health.

 

 

International Travel Alert

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 ravel 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 more information.

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