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Below are some helpful tips for a healthy successful school year.
Although not a requirement for entry here at UMB, the meningococcal vaccine should be considered for students if they have not already received the vaccine. Meningococcal disease consists of a bacterial infection with Neisseria meningitides causing meningitis, septicemia and bacteremia. N. meningitides spreads through exchange of respiratory secretions and/or saliva. There are five strains (A, B, C, W, and Y) that cause most meningococcal disease worldwide. Those at risk for meningococcal disease include youth or young adults, living on college campuses, travelers to sub-sahara Africa and some immunocompromised individuals.
Symptoms of meningitis:
· Photophobia (increased sensitivity to light)
· Altered mental status (confusion)
· Stiff neck
Symptoms of meningococcal septicemia (aka meningococcemia)
· Cold hands and feet
· Cold chills
· Severe aches or pain in the muscles, joints, chest or abdomen (belly)
· Rapid breathing
· A purple rash can be seen in later stages
Typically, the meningococcal vaccine is given at ages, 11-12 and then a booster is given at 15-16 years of age. Pending your risk factors, the meningococcal vaccine can be given up until age 55.
You can get your meningococcal vaccine at the University Immediate Care. The immunization is billed through your insurance company, please contact them for their coverage of the vaccine.
Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine
The HPV virus is the most common sexually transmitted infection. Most sexually active individuals have or will contract a strain/multiple strains of HPV in their life time. There are over 150 strains of HPV, 40 of which affect the genital area. Infection with HPV can lead to the development of oralpharyngeal, vaginal, cervical, penile and rectal cancers. HPV is spread through direct skin to skin contact. Transmission can occur with asymptomatic individuals through the process of viral shedding.
Symptoms of HPV are discrete if present at all. Some symptoms might be:
· Genital warts/bumps
· Genital itching
Cervical papsmears screen for changes in the cervical tissue related to HPV. The frequency of screening cervical papsmears is determined by age and prior results history.
The HPV vaccine covers 9 of the most common strains that affect the genital tract. Typically the HPV vaccine series is given during the preteen and teenage years, but if you haven’t received all 3 doses yet and are less than 27 years of age, please come by University Immediate Care to get the vaccine.
The immunization is billed through your insurance company, please contact them for their coverage of the vaccine.
Source CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/hcp/know-facts.html
Upper Respiratory Infections (URIs)
With the start of the new school year and the fall season arriving, the number of URIs increase dramatically. There are over 200 viruses that can cause common cold/upper respiratory symptoms. These viruses are annoying and generally slow us down, but our bodies will fight off the virus typically within 7-10 days. The course of an upper respiratory infection starts generally with malaise and fever, followed by runny nose, nasal congestion and a sore throat. Then one may develop a cough.
Over the counter medications are available for symptomatic relief, but our immune systems otherwise need time to do their job. Antibiotics do not treat viral URIs. “Super bugs” (resistant bacteria) are emerging as a result of antibiotic overuse and resistance.
Symptoms of a URI include but are not limited to:
· Sore throat
· Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
· Nasal congestion
· Cough dry or moist
· Post nasal drip
· Ear fullness
The best remedy for URIs is adequate sleep, hydration, mild exercise and time. If your symptoms are not improving or you feel you are worsening, please visit us at University Immediate Care.