Health Services closely monitors outbreaks of illness(es) that could potentially become public health concerns based on the criteria from the Centers for Diseases Control and World Health Organization. The CDC closely monitors any widespread, contagious illness and provides guidance to both healthcare providers and the public on how to protect from the illness and prevent the spread of illness.
Health Services continues to follow the CDC recommendations for COVID testing, isolation guidance and vaccination.
If you are sick and suspect that you have COVID-19 but do not yet have test results, you should not attend class, work, or other activities involving exposure to others.
Viruses, including the virus that causes COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2), change over time. SARS-CoV-2 viruses with significant genetic changes are called “variants.” A new variant that is very different than previous variants could behave differently, with potential changes in contagiousness or how well it responds to treatment. New COVID variants will continue to occur as the virus evolves and changes.
COVID-19 testing is recommended for those who have COVID-19 symptoms and should happen as soon as symptoms arise. Testing is available in Health Services:
If you are interested in obtaining the latest COVID booster, please visit https://www.vaccines.gov/ and schedule for a vaccine at the location most convenient for you.
Additional guidance on isolation and exposure is available through the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/isolation.html
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 immune systems.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) closely monitors the spread of
flu, or flu like illness activity across the United States.
A surveillance map, along with comprehensive flu information can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/Flu/Index.htm.
There are steps that you can take to help avoid the flu and prevent the spread of flu to keep our campus healthy:
If you are diagnosed with the flu and need assistance with a medically documented absence notification, email the Division of Student Affairs at email@example.com and include a copy of your test results. If you have questions, you may call Student Affairs at 828-227-7147.
Mosquito-borne diseases are those spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Diseases that are spread to people by mosquitoes include Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria.
Mosquitos are most commonly found near standing water, or in weedy or wooded areas. They are usually most active during dawn and dusk in the warmer months.
Although people may not become sick after a bite from an infected mosquito, some people have a mild, short-term illness or (rarely) severe or long-term illness. Severe cases of mosquito-borne diseases can cause death.
The simplest way to prevent these illnesses is to prevent mosquito and tick bites
through the use of insect repellent.
To find our more about mosquito-borne illnesses, visit the CDC at: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/outdoor/mosquito-borne/default.html
If you think you may be sick with a mosquito-borne illness, contact Health Services at 828-227-7640.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is currently tracking an outbreak of monkeypox across several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States. At this time, the risk of monkeypox in the US is believed to be relatively low.
Monkeypox was discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. Despite being named “monkeypox,” the source of the disease remains unknown.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through:
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus, and may include:
Anyone in close contact with a person with monkeypox can get it and should take steps to protect themselves.
Always follow the discharge instructions your received from your medical provider. The CDC guidance for isolation recommends isolating with a private bedroom and bathroom until the lesions have healed with scabs falling off. Isolation may last over three to four weeks.
If you feel sick or have unexplained rashes, or you’re concerned about a potential or known exposure:
Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people until you have been evaluated by a healthcare provider. Wear a well-fitting mask when around others and keep the rash covered.
For more information, including information about the monkeypox vaccine and examples of rashes, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/index.html.