General Acute Illness/Injury Questions

All of my friends are sick, how can I make sure I don’t get sick?

Answer: There are several things you can do to reduce the chances that you will get sick, though sometimes if you have been exposed to certain viruses or bacteria, you may get sick regardless. The most important thing you can do is practice clean hand hygiene. As simple as this sounds, germs spread on hands is the most common way that people get sick. Wash hands often with soap and water (hand sanitizer if that is the only thing available). Was hands especially before eating. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as germs can spread this way. Avoid sharing drinking glasses, water bottles, utensils, cosmetics, toothbrushes, smoking materials and food.


I woke up feeling sick. I have a runny nose, scratchy throat and dry cough. Should I go to the Health Center?

Answer: Many times colds and coughs are caused by viruses, which do not require antibiotics. We often recommend over the counter medication for symptom control. You are always welcome to call or come down to the health center to speak with a healthcare professional for advice or to have your temperature taken. If you are experiencing a fever , chest pain, shortness of breath with normal activity, wheezing or a painful sore throat that does not go away with over the counter medication you should call and schedule an appointment.


I began vomiting last night and this morning I am experiencing diarrhea. Should I go to the Health Center?

Answer: Many times vomiting and diarrhea can be treated with rest and slow oral rehydration. You are always welcome to call for advice and pick up a goodie bag to get you on the mend. If your symptoms last more than 72hrs and are producing less urine, feel faint or experiencing heart palpitations, you should call and schedule an appointment.


My friend has strep throat and maybe my throat is hurting. Can I come in to be tested to get ahead of it?

Answer: It is great that you are thinking of your health and would like to get ahead of the game. It is best to wait until symptoms appear in order to avoid a false negative. The most common symptoms of strep throat include: a sore throat usually starts quickly and can cause pain when swallowing, a fever, red and swollen tonsils (sometimes with white patches or streaks of pus), swollen lymph nodes, and a headache. The following symptoms suggest a virus is the cause of the illness instead of strep throat: cough, runny nose, hoarseness (changes in your voice that make it sound breathy/raspy/or strained), and conjunctivitis (also called pink eye). 


I found a tick on my leg. What should I do?

Answer: If the tick is still attached and the Health Center is open, you can come in to have it removed by a provider if you prefer that to removing the tick yourself. Generally, if the tick has been attached for less than 24 hours, you can just watch the area for any signs of secondary infection (ie: redness, warmth, pain). The area that the tick was attached may be slightly red or have a small red area around the bite, be somewhat itchy or tender, but should resolve within several days. If the tick was attached for longer than 24 hours, or you do not know how long the tick was attached, there is a prophylactic dose of an antibiotic that can be given to prevent the transmission of lyme disease. If you are unsure about what to do, need advice, want to have the tick removed, or the area looked at, you can call the Health Center for advice.

STI & Sexual & Reproductive Health Questions

Why do I need to hold my urine for 2 hours before coming in for STI testing?

AnswerA concentrated urine sample is needed in order for there to be a detectable amount of bacteria. If urine is not concentrated, the results of the testing can be inaccurate.


I have never had sexual intercourse, do I need to be tested for STI’s?

Answer: Intercourse is not the only way that you can be exposed to STI’s. Participating in unprotected oral sex can put you at risk for certain STI’s as well. Call the Health Center if you have specific questions or would like to book an appointment to discuss with a provider or have testing performed.


My partner just informed me that they were diagnosed with an STI. What should I do?

Answer: Call the Health Center to schedule an appointment for testing and/or treatment. At the visit, your provider will be able to answer any questions you may have about exposure, diagnosis, treatment, or notification of other partners.


My friend recently had a pap smear. What is it and do I need one?

Answer: A pap smear is a test that is performed as part of a pelvic exam to screen for cervical cancer. The screening age for pap smears starts at 21 years old. The providers at the Health Center perform pelvic exams and pap smears routinely- call if you would like to make an appointment.