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Student Health Services
Wellness Center
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Appointments: (239) 590-7966
Immunization: (239) 590-1254

Health Education

 
 

 

 

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Alcohol

Avoid Substance Abuse

Some college students experience significant pressure to use alcohol, drugs and cigarettes, especially when trying to make friends and become part of a group. Drinking among college students and on college campuses is more pervasive and destructive than many people may realize. Studies show that four out of five college students drink alcohol. One in five students report three or more binge drinking episodes in the prior two weeks; binge drinking is defined as five or more drinks for men and four or more for women within a short period of time. Alcohol consumption among persons aged 12–20 years contributes to the three leading causes of death (unintentional injury, homicide, and suicide) in this age group in the United States. It is associated with other health-risk behaviors, including high-risk sexual behavior, smoking, and physical fighting.

 

Quick Tips

Work with campus leaders to increase the availability of healthy activities and safe places on campus to meet with friends. If you are concerned about your or someone else's use of alcohol or other drugs, seek assistance from your parents, resident advisor, faculty advisor, student health/counseling services, or health care provider. Avoid second-hand smoke. It is just as harmful as if you were smoking yourself. Don’t drive after drinking or using drugs.

http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/

http://www.collegedrinkingprevention.gov/collegestudents/

If you have concerns about drinking habits of yourself or others, please contact Student Health Services and we will assist you in finding the resources and the help that you need.  239-590-7966

Alcoholics Anonymous group meets at 8pm every Thursday in the Howard Hall conference room.

 

Reference:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012).  College Health and Safety.  Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/family/college/

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Birth Control - Options/Facts

Birth Control Facts

Condoms

            Effectiveness:  If you are careful every time, they are 98% effective.  Condoms must be brand new right out of package and must NOT be expired.

Benefits:  They are free at FGCU Student Health Services.  You may also buy them at drugstores.  They are easy to use, easy to carry and last in their sealed package for months.  Latex condoms help protect you from STD’s and HIV.  Student Health Services also carries latex-free condoms and larger sized condoms.  Available upon request. 

Risks:  Must be put on during sex which some may feel is awkward.  Some say that condoms reduce sexual feelings.  Some report condoms irritate the vagina and the penis.  Condoms do NOT protect against sexually transmitted diseases in every case. 

 Birth Control Pills

                Effectiveness:  no method of birth control except abstinence is 100% effective.  However, birth control pills can be 99% effective if taken correctly.  In real world use the pill is only 92% effective because of missed/late or incorrectly taken pills.  The pill does not provide protection from sexually transmitted diseases.  We recommend using condoms with the birth control pill.

                Benefits:  In addition to providing birth control, the pill may also provide the following benefits:  more predictable, lighter, and less painful periods, less risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer, and fewer ovarian cysts.  It may help reduce pain from endometriosis and improve acne.

                Side Effects:  While using birth control pills you might experience the following temporary side effects:  nausea, spotting between periods, irregular menstrual bleeding, breast tenderness, mood changes, changes in vaginal discharge, and darkening of the skin on your face.  If these symptoms bother you and persist after two or three pill packs you should make an appointment to discuss possibly changing your pill.

                Risks:  RARE BUT SERIOUS PROBLEMS INCLUDE:  blood clots in the legs or lungs, stroke or heart attack, gall bladder disease, liver problems, high blood pressure, and headachesSTOP the pill and contact your clinician at once if you develop: changing headache (new, more frequent, or severe), chest pain, shortness of breath, severe abdominal pain, leg or calf pain, numbness of an arm or leg, or sudden difficulty with speech or vision.

                Contraindications:  You should not take the pill if you have a history of a blood clot, pulmonary embolus, deep vein thrombosis, hepatitis or liver disease, cancer, heart attack or stroke.  You should not take the pill if you are pregnant, older than 35 and smoke or if you get a certain type of migraine headache (with aura).

                Stopping Birth Control:   You may stop using oral contraceptives at any time.  When the pill is stopped, the return of your period may be delayed for two to three months.  If your periods were irregular, heavy or painful before taking the pill, they may return to that pattern when oral contraceptives are stopped.  You do not need to “take a break” from the pill.

 Additional Information for Birth Control Pill Takers:

  • A contraceptive visit at Student Health Services is required at least once a year in order to continue getting the Pill prescription.
  • Birth control pills may be purchased at Student Health Services or by prescription at a pharmacy.
  • It is important to take the pill within the same two hour period each day because taking the pill inconsistently increases the chance of pregnancy.
  • Emergency contraception (Plan B) is available if pills are taken incorrectly.
  • Pap smears should begin at age 21 and, if normal, should be repeated every three years.

When to Start Taking Pills: 

You should begin your first pack of pill as instructed by your provider:

  • The first day of your next period or….
  • The Sunday after your next period begins (if your period begins on a Sunday, start the pill that day.)  Use condoms for at least one week or….
  • Start on the exact date as discussed between you and your health care provider.

When you finish one pack of pills, begin a new pack the next day.  Your period should come during the fourth week of the pill pack, but irregular bleeding is common during the first three months of use.

Missed Pill Instructions:  See Birth Control Information Sheet

 

Additional Resources:

Click on the ‘For Patients’ tab.  Under Contraception click ‘Birth Control Pills’

Search for ‘Birth Control’ and ‘See Hormonal Methods’

 Depo Provera

            Effectiveness:  Depo Provera is an intramuscular injection of artificial hormones given by a health care provider.  This shot stops ovaries from releasing an egg and thickens the cervical mucus so it’s hard for sperm to enter womb.  The injection is given approximately every 3 months. 

                Benefits:  Depo Provera is more than 99% effective and offers very few health problems for many women.  This medication does not interfere with sex and lasts 3 months.  Depo Provera often decreases bleeding and cramping associated with periods.  It is also safe to use while breastfeeding.  There is also less chance of developing endometrial cancer. 

                Side Effects:  While Depo Provera is effective and convenient, it may cause heavy periods, irregular periods, light periods or no period at all.  You may not be able to get pregnant for several months after shots are stopped.  You may also experience weight changes, moodiness, headaches or dizziness. 

                Risks:  Long-term use may reduce bone density in some women.  Depo Provera provides NO protection from HIV and other STD’s.

Vaginal Ring

            Effectiveness: Same as birth control pills; can be 99% effective if used properly

            Benefits: Offers the same benefits as oral contraceptives, but has the advantage that daily user compliance is not required.

            Side Effects: Similar to oral contraceptives, may cause vaginal irritation.

            Risks:  Does not offer protection from HIV and other STD’s.

 

Diaphragm

            Effectiveness:  A diaphragm is a small rubber cup that fits inside the vagina, over the cervix and used with contraceptive cream or jelly that kills sperm.  Must be fitted by healthcare provider.   If you are very careful each time—94% effective.  It you are NOT careful, only 84% effective. 

                Benefits:  Can be inserted 2 hours before sexual intercourse.  Only use when needed. 

                Side Effects:  Some women report more bladder infections.  There is a very small chance of toxic shock syndrome.  Some women report it is messy, difficult to insert and to remove and the cream and jelly used with it may irritate the vagina or penis. 

                Risks:  Does not offer protection from HIV and other STD’s.

 IUD 

            Effectiveness:  The IUD is a small device placed inside the womb by a health care provider.  This device prevents sperm from fertilizing the egg.  The IUD thickens mucus in the cervix so it’s hard for sperm to enter.  This form of birth control is 99% effective.

                Benefits:  The IUD doesn’t interfere with sex and lasts 5-10 years.  It may also cause lighter periods or eventually no period at all. 

                Side Effects:  The IUD may cause more bleeding and cramping during periods or spotting between periods.  If a woman gets pregnant, the IUD may need to be taken out.  The IUD should not be used by women with multiple partners. 

                Risks: Does not offer protection from HIV and other STD’s. Possible expulsion, irregular bleeding.

 References:

                Hiatt, J. (2007).  Birth Control Facts.  ETR Associates

www.acog.org

                www.uptodate.com/patients/info

 

 

           

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Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is one of the most common eye conditions in children and adults. It is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes blood vessels more visible and gives the eye a pink or reddish color.

Symptoms of Pink eye

  • Redness or swelling of the white of the eye or inside the eyelid
  • Increased amount of tears
  • White, yellow or green eye discharge
  • Itchy eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Gritty feeling in the eye
  • Crusting of the eyelids or lashes

How Do I Stop Pink Eye from Spreading?

Viral and bacterial pink eye are very contagious and can spread easily and quickly from person to person. You can reduce the risk of getting or spreading pink eye by following some simple self-care steps, like washing your hands and not touching your eyes.  Pink eye that is caused by allergens or irritants is not contagious, but it is possible to develop a secondary infection by other viruses or bacteria.

How Is Pink Eye Treated?

The treatment for pink eye depends on the cause. Pink eye is usually mild and will often get better on its own, even without treatment. However, there are times when it is important to see a health care provider and get an antibiotic or other medical treatment.

When Should I Call a Health Care Provider?

Most cases of pink eye are mild and get better without treatment. However, some forms are more severe. Severe cases need to be looked at by a health care provider and may require specific treatment and close follow-up. If you have pink eye, you should see your health care provider if you have—

  • Moderate to severe pain in your eye(s)
  • Blurred vision or increased sensitivity to light
  • Intense redness in the eye(s)
  • A weakened immune system, for example, from HIV or cancer treatment
  • Bacterial pink eye that does not improve after 24 hours of antibiotic use

Contact FGCU Student Health Services at 239-590-7966 to schedule an appointment or if you have questions. 

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Domestic Violence

Definition:

 Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.

 Examples of abuse include: 

  • name-calling or putdowns
  • keeping a partner from contacting their family or friends
  • withholding money
  • stopping a partner from getting or keeping a job
  • actual or threatened physical harm
  • sexual assault
  • stalking
  • intimidation

Violence can be criminal and includes physical assault (hitting, pushing, shoving, etc.), sexual abuse (unwanted or forced sexual activity), and stalking. Although emotional, psychological and financial abuse are not criminal behaviors, they are forms of abuse and can lead to criminal violence.

The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. An important step to help yourself or someone you know in preventing or stopping violence is recognizing the warning signs listed on the "Violence Wheel."

ANYONE CAN BE A VICTIM! Victims can be of any age, sex, race, culture, religion, education, employment or marital status. Although both men and women can be abused, most victims are women. Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected. Most children in these homes know about the violence. Even if a child is not physically harmed, they may have emotional and behavior problems.

If you are being abused, REMEMBER:

1.You are not alone

2.It is not your fault

3.Help is available

 

Local and Online Resources:

http://studentservices.fgcu.edu/Healthservices/

http://www.nsvrc.org/

http://www.actabuse.com/ 

http://www.fgcu.edu/arise/

References:

Retrieved from http://www.domesticviolence.org/

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Ear Infection

Ear Infections

There are three main kinds of ear infections, which are called acute otitis (oh-TIE-tus) media (AOM), otitis media with effusion (uh-FEW-zhun) (OME), and otitis externa (Swimmer’s Ear). Sometimes ear infections can be painful and may even need antibiotics. Your healthcare provider will be able to determine what kind of ear infection you or your child has and if antibiotics would help.

Acute otitis media

The type of ear infection that is usually painful and may improve with antibiotic treatment is called acute otitis (oh-TIE-tus) media, or AOM. Symptoms of AOM include pain, redness of the eardrum, pus in the ear, and fever. Children may pull on the affected ear, and infants or toddlers may be irritable. Antibiotics are often prescribed to children for AOM, but are not always necessary.

Otitis media with effusion

Otitis media with effusion (uh-FEW-zhun), or OME, is a build up of fluid in the middle ear without signs and symptoms of acute infection (pain, redness of the eardrum, pus, and fever). OME is more common than AOM, and may be caused by viral upper respiratory infections, allergies, or exposure to irritants (such as cigarette smoke). The build up of fluid in the middle ear does not usually cause pain and almost always goes away on its own. OME will not usually benefit from antibiotic treatment.

Otitis externa (Swimmer’s Ear)

Otitis externa, more commonly known as Swimmer's Ear, is an infection of the ear and/or outer ear canal. It can cause the ear to itch or become red and swollen so that touching of or pressure on the ear is very painful. There may also be pus that drains from the ear. Antibiotics are usually needed to treat otitis externa.

Signs and Symptoms of Ear Infections

Acute otitis media (AOM)

  • Fluid draining from ears
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Difficulty hearing
  • Difficulty balancing

Otitis media with effusion (OME)

  • Problems with hearing

 

See a Healthcare Provider if You Have

  • Temperature higher than 100.4 degrees
  • Discharge of blood or pus from the ears
  • Been diagnosed with an ear infection and symptoms do not improve or they worsen

Treatment

Acute otitis media (AOM)

Your healthcare provider will consider several factors when determining if antibiotics are needed for you: age, severity of illness, diagnostic certainty, and follow-up options. Your healthcare provider may decide to wait a couple of days before prescribing antibiotics since you may get better without them.

References

Retrieved from:  http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/URI/ear-infection.html#c

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Ebola
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Emergency Contraception

Student Services offers Plan B emergency contraception for $15.00.  You must schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider by calling Student Health Services.  You must provide Eagle ID at time of appointment.  Please review the Plan B website for detailed information regarding pill dosage and side effects. 

 

http://www.planbonestep.com/

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General Health and Wellness

Good health means more than treating illnesses when they occur. It also means achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, getting optimal nutrition, exercising and staying fit, and taking steps to prevent disease. Taking control of your health and well- being gives you the best chance for living a full and rewarding life.

FGCU Student Health Services offers a range of prevention and wellness services.  We offer pap smears, physicals, eye exams, smoking cessation information, disease prevention information, immunizations, dietetic information, along with a  certified dietitian on site. 

Please contact Student Health Services at 239-590-7966 to make an appointment for a general checkup or to seek assistance from our dietitian.  Appointments at Student Health and with the dietitian are free of charge. 

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Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion

Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion

Summer in Florida is HOT!  When you must be outdoors in hot weather, take steps to stay cool and healthy. Cut down on exercise and other hard tasks. Drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids every hour. Rest often in shady areas. Wear light clothing and protect yourself from the sun with a wide brimmed hat, sunglasses and sunscreen - SPF 15 or higher. To learn more, call 800-CDC-INFO or visit http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/faq.asp.

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HIV / AIDS

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) targets the immune system and weakens people's surveillance and defense systems against infections and some types of cancer. As the virus destroys and impairs the function of immune cells, infected individuals gradually become immunodeficient. Immunodeficiency results in increased susceptibility to a wide range of infections and diseases that people with healthy immune systems can fight off. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which can take 10-15 years to develop. This stage is defined by the development of certain cancers, infections, or other severe clinical manifestations.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms of HIV vary depending on the stage of infection. Though people living with HIV tend to be most infectious in the first few months, many are unaware of their status until later stages. The first few weeks after initial infection, individuals may experience no symptoms or a flu-like illness including fever, headache, rash or sore throat.

As the infection progressively weakens the person's immune system, the individual can develop other signs and symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, weight loss, fever, diarrhea and cough. Without treatment, they could also develop severe illnesses such as tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis, and cancers such as lymphomas and Kaposi's sarcoma, among others.

Transmission

HIV can be transmitted via unprotected and close contact with a variety of body fluids of infected individuals, such as blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal secretions. Individuals cannot become infected through ordinary day-to-day contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing personal objects, food or water.

Examples of HIV transmission routes include:

  • unprotected anal or vaginal sex with an HIV- infected partner;
  • mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding;
  • transfusion with HIV-infected blood products;
  • sharing of contaminated injection equipment, tattooing, skin-piercing tools and surgical equipment.

 Risk factors

Behaviors and conditions that put individuals at greater risk of contracting HIV include:

  • having unprotected anal or vaginal sex;
  • having another sexually transmitted infection such as syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and bacterial vaginosis;
  • sharing contaminated needles, syringes and other infected equipment and drug solutions for injection drug use;
  • receiving unsafe injections, blood transfusions, medical procedures that involve unsterile cutting or piercing;
  • experiencing accidental needle stick injuries, including among health workers.

Diagnosis

An HIV test reveals infection status by detecting the presence or absence of antibodies to HIV in the blood. Antibodies are produced by individuals' immune systems to fight off foreign pathogens. Most people have a "window period" of 3 to 12 weeks during which antibodies to HIV are still being produced and are not yet detectable. This early period of infection represents the time of greatest infectivity but transmission can occur during all stages of the infection. Retesting should be done after three months to confirm test results once sufficient time has passed for antibody production in infected individuals.

People must agree to be tested for HIV and appropriate counseling should be provided. HIV test results should be kept confidential, and everyone should receive post-test counseling and follow-up care, treatment and prevention measures as appropriate.

Confidential oral or blood testing for HIV is offered at SHS with an appointment by calling 239-590-7966 Monday through Friday.  Oral testing is free.

Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/index.html

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Influenza (Flu)

Please visit the CDC for the most current information for this years flu virus.

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

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Meningitis

Meningitis

Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Meningitis may develop in response to a number of causes, usually bacteria or viruses, but meningitis can also be caused by physical injury, cancer or certain drugs.

The severity of illness and the treatment for meningitis differ depending on the cause. Thus, it is important to know the specific cause of meningitis.

Please visit the link below as the Centers for Disease Control website contains expert advice with the most updated materials.  Or call FGCU Student Health Services at 239-590-7966 for any concerns or questions.

http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html

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Mental Health

Mental health includes your emotional, physical and overall well-being.  It is very important to take good care of yourself, not just physically, but also emotionally while you are in college.  There are often tough, challenging times college students face throughout their time at FGCU.  If you are struggling or feel overwhelmed please ask yourself some questions and let Student Health Services know if:

  • You find that your relationships are creating mostly problems and unhappiness.
  • Your alcohol and/or drug use is concerning you, your friends, or your family.
  • You find that you no longer enjoy things that you usually did.
  • You are so stressed that you feel hopeless or cannot cope.
  • You are having problems sleeping and/or eating.
  • You have thoughts about ending your life.

If you answered yes to any of these questions or you need someone to talk to, call Student Health Services at 239-590-7966 or Counseling & Psychological Services at 239-590-7950.  After-hours crisis services are available by phone including evenings, weekend, and holidays.  You are not alone.

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MERS

MERS:  five things to know

It's a coronavirus

MERS is in the same family of viruses as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome -- coronavirus) as well as the common cold. However, unlike SARS, which sickened more than 8,000 people in 2003 and killed 773 worldwide, MERS does not spread easily between humans -- at least not yet.  The virus acts like a cold and attacks the respiratory system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said. But symptoms, which include fever and a cough, are severe and can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea have also been seen, according to the WHO.

Researchers don't know how MERS spreads

Although all MERS cases have been linked to six countries on the Arabian Peninsula, limited human-to-human transmission has been seen among people in close contact with patients, including health care workers.  Although such transmission appears to be limited, health officials are concerned about MERS because of its virulence -- it can be fatal in up to one-third of cases.

Camels appear to be a link in the MERS chain

Camels may be one clue. Researchers said they had isolated the live MERS virus from two single-humped camels, known as dromedaries. And in February, scientists published a finding that nearly three-quarters of camels in Saudi Arabia tested positive for past MERS exposure.  MERS was also found in a bat in Saudi Arabia, the CDC says.  "The way humans become infected from an animal and/or environmental source is still under investigation," the WHO said last month.

It may have a seasonal pattern

Officials have noted a surge in MERS cases this spring, and a similar increase was also seen last spring. But they don't know whether the factors that lead to MERS may have a seasonal pattern, or whether the virus changes to become more easily transmissible.

There are no treatments and no vaccine

As of now, doctors can treat symptoms of MERS, such as fever or breathing difficulties. However, there is no vaccine and no specific medicine, such as an antiviral drug, that targets MERS.

http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/mers/faq.html

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Mononucleosis (Mono)

Mononucleosis or “Mono”

Mononucleosis is an illness caused by a virus, usually the Epstein-Barr virus.  Many people catch mono as children, and have mild flu-like symptoms.  Even as adults, most people who get mono are only sick a few weeks.

How Do You Know You Have Mono?

Your body has white blood cells that produce antibodies in response to a virus infection.  The presence of the antibodies is the best way to test for mono.  FGCU Student Health Services has a very inexpensive test that can be done in five minutes to tell you if you have mono. 

How Do You Get Mono?

Mono is passed through saliva.  Only kissing or sharing drinks is likely to spread the infection.  Often it takes a long time for symptoms to manifest. It can take up to 1-2 months before you may feel ill.  However, many people never feel sick.  But you can still pass the virus even though you don’t have symptoms.  You should always avoid kissing or sharing drinks with someone who has mono.  If you have engaged in drink sharing or kissing, take especially good care of yourself (healthy diet, exercise and rest) may help keep you from getting ill. 

Symptoms of Mononucleosis

  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Sore throat
  • White patches at the back of the throat
  • Fever or night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Other symptoms may include headache, poor appetite, muscle aches, nausea and a skin rash.

How is Mono Treated?

Because mono is caused by a virus, antibiotics will NOT help.

Some people don’t miss school or work if they take it easy and get as much rest as possible.  Other people need to take 1-2 weeks away from regular activities.  Steps to feeling better:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Don’t drink alcohol.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Take ibuprofen.
  • Relieve sore throat by gargling with salt water (1/4 teaspoon salt to a cup of water).
  • Avoid strenuous activity such as hard exercise, contact sports or heavy lifting for several weeks.

References:

Retrieved from www.etr.org/pub

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MRSA

MRSA

What is MRSA?

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to several antibiotics.  Anyone can get MRSA by direct contact with an infected wound or by sharing personal items, such as towels or razors that have touched infected skin.  MRSA infection risk can be increased when a person is in certain activities or places that involve crowding, skin-to-skin contact, and shared equipment or supplies. 

Can I prevent MRSA?

There are personal hygiene steps you can take to reduce your risk of MRSA infection:

  • Maintain good hand and body hygiene.  Wash hands often and clean body regularly, especially after exercise.
  • Keep cuts, scrapes and wounds clean and covered until healed.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels and razors.
  • Get care early if you think you might have an infection.

What are the symptoms of MRSA?

Often people first think the area is a spider bite; however, unless a spider is actually seen, the irritation is likely not a spider bite.  Most staph skin infections, including MRSA, appear as a bump or infected area on the skin that may be:

  • Red
  • Swollen, painful
  • Warm to the touch
  • Full of pus or other drainage
  • Accompanied by a fever

What should I do if I see these symptoms?

If you or someone you know experience these signs and symptoms, cover the area with a bandage, wash your hands, and contact FGCU Student Health Services or other healthcare provider.  It is especially important to seek medical assistance if you have a fever.

How do I prevent spreading MRSA if I am diagnosed with MRSA?

Cover your wounds.  Keep wounds covered with clean, dry bandages until healed.  Follow your doctor’s instructions about proper care of the wound and follow up appointments.  Pus from infected wounds can contain MRSA so keeping the infection covered will help prevent the spread to others.  Clean your hands often.  You, your roommates and family members along with others in close contact, should wash their hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub, especially after changing the bandage or touching the infected wound.  Do not share personal items.  Personal items include towels, washcloths, razors, clothing and uniforms.  Wash used sheets, towels, and clothes with water and laundry detergent.  Use a dryer to dry them completely.  Wash clothes according to manufacturer’s instructions on the label. 

How are MRSA skin infections treated?

Antibiotics are typically prescribed.  Do not attempt to drain the infection yourself—doing so could worsen or spread it to others.  If you are given an antibiotic, be sure to take all doses even if the infection is getting better, unless your doctor tells you to stop. 

For additional information: http://www.cdc.gov/mrsa/

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Norovirus

Norovirus

Norovirus is a very contagious virus. You can get norovirus from an infected person, contaminated food or water, or by touching contaminated surfaces. The virus causes your stomach or intestines or both to get inflamed (acute gastroenteritis). This leads you to have stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea and to throw up.

Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can have norovirus illness many times in your life. Norovirus illness can be serious, especially for young children and older adults.

Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes 19-21 million illnesses and contributes to 56,000-71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States.

The best way to help prevent norovirus is to practice proper hand washing and general cleanliness.

Symptoms

Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach or intestines or both. This is called acute gastroenteritis.

The most common symptoms—

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body aches

If you have norovirus illness, you can feel extremely ill and throw up or have diarrhea many times a day. This can lead to dehydration, especially in young children, older adults, and people with other illnesses.  Most people with norovirus illness get better within 1 to 3 days.

Transmission

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus. Anyone can get infected with norovirus and get sick. Also, you can get norovirus illness many times in your life. One reason for this is that there are many different types of noroviruses. Being infected with one type of norovirus may not protect you against other types.

Norovirus can be found in your stool (feces) even before you start feeling sick. The virus can stay in your stool for 2 weeks or more after you feel better.   You are most contagious when you are sick with norovirus illness, and during the first few days after you recover from norovirus illness.  You can become infected with norovirus by accidentally getting stool or vomit from infected people in your mouth. This usually happens by eating food or drinking liquids that are contaminated with norovirus, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with norovirus then putting your fingers in your mouth, or having contact with someone who is infected with norovirus (for example, caring for or sharing food or eating utensils with someone with norovirus illness).

Prevention

Wash your hands carefully with soap and water—

•especially after using the toilet and changing diapers, and

• before eating, preparing, or handling food.

Noroviruses can be found in your vomit or stool even before you start feeling sick. The virus can stay in your stool for 2 weeks or more after you feel better. So, it is important to continue washing your hands often during this time.

Carefully wash fruits and vegetables before preparing and eating them. Cook oysters and other shellfish thoroughly before eating them.  Be aware that noroviruses are relatively resistant. They can survive temperatures as high as 140°F and quick steaming processes that are often used for cooking shellfish. Food that might be contaminated with norovirus should be thrown out.

Treatment

There is no specific medicine to treat people with norovirus illness. Norovirus infection cannot be treated with antibiotics because it is a viral (not a bacterial) infection.

If you have norovirus illness, you should drink plenty of liquids to replace fluid lost from throwing up and diarrhea. This will help prevent dehydration.

Sports drinks and other drinks without caffeine or alcohol can help with mild dehydration. But, these drinks may not replace important nutrients and minerals. Oral rehydration fluids that you can get over the counter are most helpful for mild dehydration.

Severe dehydration may require hospitalization for treatment with fluids given through your vein (intravenous or IV fluids). If you think you or someone you are caring for is severely dehydrated, call the doctor.

Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/about/index.html

 

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Sore Throat

Sore Throat

A sore throat often makes it painful to swallow. A sore throat can also feel dry and scratchy. A sore throat is a frequent symptom of the common cold or other acute respiratory tract infections. In some cases, a lab test will need to be done to determine if you or your child needs antibiotics.

Causes of a Sore Throat

Most sore throats are caused by viruses, like ones that cause a cold or the flu .  Some sore throats, like strep throat, are caused by bacteria; strep throat is caused by Group A streptococcus (strep-tuh-KOK-us).  Other causes include:  allergies, dry air, pollution, smoking or exposure to second hand smoke.

See a Healthcare Provider if You:

•A sore throat that lasts longer than 1 week

•Difficulty swallowing or breathing

•Excessive drooling (young children)

•Temperature higher than 100.4° F 

•Pus on the back of the throat

•Rash

•Hoarseness lasting longer than 2 weeks

•Blood in saliva or phlegm

•Symptoms of dehydration (dry, sticky mouth, sleepiness or tiredness, thirst, decreased urination or fewer wet diapers, few or no tears when crying, muscle weakness, headache, dizziness or lightheadedness)

•Contact with someone with strep throat

•Recurring sore throats

Your healthcare provider can determine the cause of a sore throat and if treatment is needed. If your child is younger than three months of age and has a fever, it’s important to always call your healthcare provider right away.

How to Feel Better

Rest, over-the-counter medicines and other self-care methods may help you or your child feel better. For more information about symptomatic relief, talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist.  Remember, always use over-the-counter products as directed.  Many over-the-counter products are not recommended for children younger than certain ages.  Soothe a sore throat with ice chips, sore throat spray, or lozenges.  Use a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer.  Take acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain or fever.

Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/uri/sore-throat.html

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Strep A / Strep Throat

Strep throat

Sore throats can have a variety of causes. Viruses, bacteria, allergens, environmental irritants (such as cigarette smoke), chronic postnasal drip and fungi can all cause that unpleasant, scratchy and sometimes painful condition known as a sore throat. While many sore throats will heal without treatment, some throat infections—including strep throat—may need antibiotic treatment.

How You Get Strep Throat

Strep throat is an infection in the throat and tonsils caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria (called "group A strep"). Group A strep bacteria can live in a person's nose and throat. The bacteria are spread through contact with droplets from an infected person's cough or sneeze. If you drink from the same glass or eat from the same plate as the sick person, you could also become ill.

Common Symptoms of Strep Throat

  • Fever (usually 101 degrees or above)
  • Sore throat, usually starting quickly
  • Severe pain when swallowing
  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Swollen lymph nodes in neck
  • Body aches
  • Rash

Is it Strep? A Simple Test Gives Fast Results

A strep test (a quick swab of the throat) can quickly show if group A strep bacteria are causing a sore throat. A test is needed to tell if you have strep throat; just looking at your throat is not enough to make a diagnosis. If the test is positive, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics. If the strep test is negative, but your doctor still strongly suspects you have this infection, a culture of your throat (another sample) may be taken as another way to test for the bacteria.  The strep test is quick and available at FGCU Student Health Services for $5.

What if I have Strep throat?

The strep test results will help the doctor decide if you need antibiotics. Antibiotics reduce the length of time you’re sick and reduce your symptoms. Antibiotic treatment may also prevent the spread of infection to friends and family members. They can also prevent complications such as tonsil and sinus infections, and, although rare in the U.S., acute rheumatic fever (an inflammatory disease that can affect the heart, joints, skin, and brain).

 

Once treatment begins, you should start feeling better in just a day or two. Call your doctor if you don't feel better after taking antibiotics for 48 hours. People with strep throat should stay home from work, school, or daycare until they have taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours. Be sure to finish the entire prescription, even when you start feeling better before the medicine is all gone. Learn more about taking antibiotics for a sore throat.

Preventing Infection: Wash Those Hands

The best way to keep from getting strep throat is to wash your hands often and avoid sharing eating utensils, like forks or cups. It is especially important for anyone with a sore throat to wash their hands often and cover coughs and sneezes. There is no vaccine to prevent strep throat.

For additional Information: http://www.cdc.gov/Features/StrepThroat/

 

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Pap smears

Student Health Services does provide pap smears.  However, pap smears are not indicated as frequently as they once were.  A pap smear is not required to obtain birth control pills.  For additional information see: http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/cervical/basic_info/infographic.htm 

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Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence: 

http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html

http://www.nsvrc.org/

Sexual violence (SV) is any sexual act that is perpetrated against someone's will. SV encompasses a range of offenses, including a completed nonconsensual sex act (i.e., rape), an attempted nonconsensual sex act, abusive sexual contact (i.e., unwanted touching), and non-contact sexual abuse (e.g., threatened sexual violence, exhibitionism, verbal sexual harassment). These four types are defined in more detail below. All types involve victims who do not consent, or who are unable to consent or refuse to allow the act.

•A completed sex act is defined as contact between the penis and the vulva or the penis and the anus involving penetration, however slight; contact between the mouth and penis, vulva, or anus; or penetration of the anal or genital opening of another person by a hand, finger, or other object.

•An attempted (but not completed) sex act

•Abusive sexual contact is defined as intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person without his or her consent, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse.

•Non-contact sexual abuse does not include physical contact of a sexual nature between the perpetrator and the victim. It includes acts such as voyeurism; intentional exposure of an individual to exhibitionism; unwanted exposure to pornography; verbal or behavioral sexual harassment; threats of sexual violence to accomplish some other end; or taking nude photographs of a sexual nature of another person without his or her consent or knowledge, or of a person who is unable to consent or refuse.

 Why is a Consistent Definition Important?

A consistent definition is needed to monitor the incidence of SV and examine trends over time. In addition, it helps determine the magnitude of SV and compare the problem across jurisdictions. A consistent definition also helps researchers measure risk and protective factors for victimization in a uniform manner. This ultimately informs prevention and intervention efforts.

Reference

Basile KC, Saltzman LE. Sexual violence surveillance: uniform definitions and recommended data elements version 1.0. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2002. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pub/SV_surveillance.html

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Sexual Health - Get the Facts about STD's

Think an STD can’t happen to you?

STD AWARENESS CAMPAIGN

Don’t be in the dark about your health.  Ten thousand young adults are infected by STDs every day; that’s one every eight seconds.

That’s why at the DOH we’ve unveiled a place where you can be kept out of the dark when it comes to STDs, yet can still remain anonymously “in the dark” when it comes to revealing your identity.

The site can help you find the must-knows of the diseases, locate an STD testing site nearby, and even anonymously tell a partner that you believe they may have been exposed to an STD to encourage them to get tested.

We hope you will use www.floridastd.com as a way to ditch the dark, and get the naked truth on STDs.

A message brought to you by the Florida Department of Health

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Smoking

BeTobaccoFree Website Can Help You Quit for Good

Please visit  BeTobaccoFree.hhs.gov.

For the podcast or transcript, go to: http://healthcare411.ahrq.gov/radiocastseg.aspx?id=1348&type=seg

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Stress

Stress in college is often a normal part of the university experience.  Some stress can be very healthy; however some stress can cause problems.  If you are feeling overwhelmed with stress, take some time and remember that you can learn how to manage your stress.   You can get help by talking to someone at FGCU Student Health Services.  By talking to a professional healthcare provider, you can learn how to manage your stress and take care of your feelings. 

1)     Know what stresses you.  Set goals and make a list of times that you feel stressed.

2)     Make a plan.  Learn how to manage your time and stay on task.  Take your time navigating through life so that you can reach your goals. 

3)    Remember to take care of your physical well-being.  Try and incorporate healthy foods and exercise into your activities of daily living.  Take breaks and get plenty of rest. 

4)    Take care of your emotional well-being.  Take time out from stressful environments and situations.  Plan ahead so that you are not rushed.  Always remember to plan fun, relaxing times that are enjoyable to you.  Surround yourself with caring and supportive people.  Always remember to value your strengths.

If you feel like you cannot handle your stress on your own, do not be afraid to seek help.  Call or stop in to FGCU Student Health Services and make an appointment to discuss your feelings.

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Substance Abuse

Substance Abuse

 Struggling with addiction/substance abuse?  Often young adults are faced with overwhelming life situations and are unfortunately led to participate in substance abuse.  Students become addicted to drugs, alcohol and other illegal substances, often while in college.  There is help on campus and through other avenues.  See below for a list of excellent resources for our students at FGCU.  Counseling and Psychological Services located in Howard Hall, Suite 228, provides consultation and referral, outreach programs, emergency on-call services, and assessment services.  There is a Substance Abuse Clinician on staff.  Call 239-590-7950 or email at CAPS@fgcu.edu.  You may also visit Student Health Services for a physical assessment and for other resources. 

 

http://www.fgcu.edu/caps/

http://www.samhsa.gov/prevention/

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Travelers' Health

Are You Travelling Outside of the Country? Please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Travelers' Health website for the current required/recommended vaccine information.

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Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis:  Get the Facts

What is tuberculosis? 

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease that can be spread from person-to-person through airborne transmission. It is spread when an infectious individual expels germs into the air by coughing, sneezing, or laughing. Those with close, prolonged contact with an infected person have the highest risk of exposure. The disease usually affects the lungs, but other parts of the body can be infected in cases of extra-pulmonary TB. Symptoms of TB include weakness, fever, fatigue, cough, coughing up blood, chest pain, night sweats, and/or weight loss.

How is TB spread?

TB germs are spread from person to person through the air.  TB germs are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, laughs, or sings.  TB is NOT spread by sharing silverware or cups, sharing saliva or kissing.

What are symptoms of TB?

People with TB disease often feel weak or sick, lose weight, have fever, and have night sweats.  If their TB disease is in the lungs, they may also cough and have chest pain, or may cough up blood. 

TB disease vs. TB infection

People with active TB disease are infected individuals who are sick with symptoms and are infectious to others. Precautions must be taken so that they do not spread the disease. Active TB disease can be treated with a variety of medications. Some individuals are infected with the TB organism but are not sick with disease. This is often referred to as latent TB infection. Individuals with latent TB infection were exposed to the germ at some point, but the infection is not active inside the body. These individuals are not infectious to others, but the infection can turn into active TB disease if the immune system is challenged. Latent TB infection can be treated with medication and is recommended for high-risk groups (see below).

How can I tell if I have TB?

Get a TB skin test or blood test.  If you have a positive reaction to either of the tests, you will probably be given other tests to see if you have TB infection or TB disease.

Where can I get a TB skin test?

You can get a TB skin test from your doctor, local health department or FGCU Student Health Services after speaking to a healthcare worker.

What if the test is negative?

A negative skin test usually means you are not infected.  However, the test may be falsely negative if you were infected recently.  It usually takes 2 to 10 weeks after exposure to a person with TB disease for your skin test to react as positive.  The test may also be falsely negative if your immune system is not working properly.

What if the test is positive?

A positive skin test or blood test usually means that you have been infected with the TB germ.  It does not necessarily mean that you have TB disease.

What should I do if I have TB infection or TB disease?

Get the required follow-up tests.  Follow your doctor’s advice and take the medicine as prescribed.  Today, both TB infection and TB disease can be treated and cured with medication. 

 

For further information, please contact Lee County Health Department at 239-332-9529 or CDC Division of Tuberculosis Elimination Website at www.cdc.gov/tb

http://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/faqs/default.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/basics/default.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/tb/statistics/default.htm

http://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/faqs/qa_introduction.htm#Intro3

References:

www.cdc.gov/tb

http://www.floridahealth.gov/chdlee/TB/index.html

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Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary Tract Infections

A urinary tract infection also referred to as a UTI, is caused when bacteria enter the urinary tract.  It may appear in the urethra, bladder or kidneys.  It’s important to catch and treat a UTI early.  An untreated UTI may cause more serious problems, such as kidney infection.    Any UTI symptoms should be checked by a health care provider right away.  Most UTI’s cannot be passed to others.  Sometimes a sexually transmitted disease (STD) can cause symptoms like those of a UTI.  This is another reason to visit a healthcare provider or the FGCU Student Health Services. 

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms of UTI in the bladder include:

  • Pain or burning when urinating (peeing)
  • Feeling a sudden, urgent need to urinate
  • Urinating more often than usual
  • Urinating small amounts even though the bladder feels full
  • Blood in the urine
  • Cloudy or bad-smelling urine
  • Pain in the lower abdomen, especially when urinating

Who can get a UTI?

A UTI is one of the most common infections caused by bacteria.  UTI’s are more common in women but can also happen to men.  Women are more likely to get a UTI because a woman’s urethra is much shorter than a male’s, allowing bacteria to travel up to the bladder and kidneys more easily.  Because a man’s urethra is much longer than a woman’s, it is fairly rare for a man to get a UTI.  More often, bacteria that enter a man’s urethra are from an STD, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. 

Is a UTI an STD?

In women, a UTI is usually not an STD, but sometimes sexual activity can trigger a UTI.  UTI symptoms in men are more likely to be caused by an STD.  In both men and women, chlamydia, gonorrhea or herpes symptoms can seem like a UTI.  Symptoms should always be checked by a health care provider. 

If you have a UTI

A UTI should always be treated.  A urine test can confirm that a person has a UTI.  It can also identify the type of bacteria causing the infection.  A genital or pelvic exam may also be done.  If you have a UTI, the provider will prescribe an antibiotic.  Be sure to take ALL of the medicine.  If you stop too soon, you may not get rid of all the bacteria and the infection may return. 

What can I do at home? 

These steps may relieve symptoms.  You can do these things both before and after you see your health care provider for treatment. 

  • Drink plenty of water as water flushes out the urinary tract.  Water won’t cure the infection but it may help relieve symptoms.
  • Don’t have sex.  Wait until you are checked by your provider.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Limit foods that may cause urinary burning.  These include coffee, tea, alcohol, spicy food and fizzy drinks. 
  • Don’t take leftover antibiotics lying around or borrowed from others until your doctor prescribes them to you. 
  • Seek a health care provider if you have ANY symptoms of a UTI. 
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West Nile Virus and Preventing Mosquito Bites

Did you know that  a single mosquito bite can make you sick. Why take a chance? Use repellent on yourself, your friends and your family.

If you would like to know more about the West Nile Virus, please click on the following links:

http://www.cdc.gov/features/StopMosquitoes/

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm