Community Resources for evaluation and treatment for possible COVID19

MedExpress in Hadley is a COVID19 testing site

They are open 8:00am-8:OOpm, seven days a week.

See website for more information

Cooley Dickinson Community Call Center

Phone: 1-888-554-4235

They have a list of Primary Care Providers that are accepting new patients.

If someone is seeking testing only you will then speak with a Registered Nurse.

They will assess your symptoms and if you meet current CDC criteria you will be tested in the tent in front of the hospital.

Accessing Care During Remote Learning Period

For students leaving campus:

-          If you are receiving medical care at Health Services and you have concerns or questions about how to access care while you are not on campus, please call the Health Center or a send patient portal message to your Health Services Provider.  We will work with you to either continue your care remotely if appropriate or help facilitate the transfer of your care to another provider. 

-          Your Gallagher student health insurance is still active through August 14, 2020.  You can use your insurance in most places in the United States as well as in some other countries.  Refer to the Gallagher website for more information.

For students remaining on campus:

-          Health Services will remain open and operating at full capacity.  We will post updates if there are any changes to our schedule or services.  

Update re: Novel Coronavirus

Posted: February 6, 2020

Amherst College is continuing to closely monitor developments concerning coronavirus.  The College is following CDC and Mass Department of Public Health guidelines and is not aware of any active coronavirus or increased risk on our campus at this time. 

If you returned to the United States on or after February 3 and traveled to China within the 14 days prior to your return, you may be at increased risk. The College does not believe any of its students, faculty, or staff meet these criteria. If you do meet these criteria, you should contact your healthcare provider.  If you are a student, you should contact Student Health Services. This recommendation does not apply to those who may have returned to the United States prior to February 3 after having traveled to China.

For additional information, the CDC is maintaining FAQs:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Information regarding the Coronavirus

Posted: January 28, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing to closely monitor an outbreak of a novel respiratory virus originating from Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China that began in December 2019.  This is a type of respiratory infection called a Coronavirus (2019-nCOV). 

The coronavirus causes a pneumonia-like illness with cough and shortness of breath in addition to fever and general malaise. The first diagnosis was in Wuhan, China, and people with travel connections to Wuhan have been diagnosed in several other countries, including the United States.

We have no reason at this time to believe anyone on our campus is infected with the illness. The College is nevertheless closely monitoring the situation and will update the community on new developments as appropriate.

We have compiled some frequently asked questions for your reference. The best source of information on the novel coronavirus is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. We urge you to check the CDC website for the most up-to-date developments.

What are the symptoms?

They can be similar to the flu or cold: fever, cough or shortness of breath. 

Should I be tested?

There are currently no recommendations for screening healthy people returning from China or any other country other than what is occurring at airports.

Yes, if you have traveled in or through known affected areas in the past 14 days and have any of the above symptoms. Students should contact Health Services at 413-542-2267. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care provider or seek evaluation at an urgent care center.

How can I avoid getting sick?

Follow the standard best practices for preventing the spread of illness:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading any virus to others, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes in your elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay at home and avoid public places and travel, when possible. 

Again, we have no reason at this time to believe anyone on our campus is infected with the novel coronavirus and we will update you as appropriate.

Important message about suspected case of mumps on campus

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
 
We are writing today to inform you that an Amherst College staff member has a suspected case of mumps (yet to be confirmed by pending laboratory testing). During the period when the staff member was contagious, they were in close contact with only four people on campus--all staff members--on Monday, December 16 and Tuesday, December 17. These four people have all been identified and we have reached out to them. We have no reason to believe anyone else on campus was exposed to the virus that causes mumps, but we are nevertheless sharing this information out of an abundance of caution.
 
If you have not been directly notified by the Health Center or a supervisor, it has been determined that you are at no or very low risk and further action on your part is not necessary.
 
Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Then most people will have swelling of their salivary glands. This is what causes the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. While it can be extremely uncomfortable, it rarely leads to significant illness or complications. You could be at increased risk if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system.
 
Most members of the College community are immune to it, since the mumps vaccination is part of a regular schedule of shots infants in our country receive. It is worth noting that even though the vaccine has drastically reduced mumps cases, outbreaks still occur, most commonly among groups of people who have prolonged, close contact (e.g., by sharing water bottles or cups, kissing, practicing sports together, or living in close quarters) with a person who has mumps. Some vaccinated people may still get mumps if they are exposed to the virus. However, disease symptoms are often milder in vaccinated people. Additional information about mumps can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/mumps/index.html
 
Again, if you have not been notified directly by the Health Center or a supervisor, it has been determined that you are at no or very low risk and further action on your part is not necessary.
 
If you know the identity of the sick individual, we ask that you respect the privacy of that person and not discuss it with others. We also ask that you refrain from speculating about the situation. We appreciate your consideration in this matter.
 
If you remain concerned about your own health, you should contact your primary care physician to confirm your immunization status and obtain medical advice. During the semester, students can access these services through the Keefe Health Center at 413.542.2267.
 
The health and well-being of our community is our utmost concern. As such, we will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates if and as necessary. 
 
We wish our colleague a speedy recovery.
 
Regards,
 
Maria-Judith Rodriguez
Chief Human Resources Officer
 
Dr. Emily Jones
Director of Student Health Services

Vaping Advisory from the CDC and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health

CDC officials recommend that people not use e-cigarettes and say that those who continue to use e-cigarettes should seek medical attention with any health concerns.  The sale of e-cigarettes in now illegal in the state of Massachusetts. 

As of October 8th, the CDC and FDA are tracking reports of 1,299 cases of severe lung illnesses associated with use of e-cigarette products (i.e., devices, liquids, refill pods and cartridges).  Twenty sixth related deaths have been confirmed. Many of these deaths have been linked to the use THC products but it is important to note that no specific e-cigarette product, substance or additive has been identified as present in all cases. Up to date information on lung injuries associated with vaping can be found at www.cdc.gov/lunginjury.

Nicotine is an addictive substance and it can be difficult to stop using it without assistance.  Our Student Health Services has providers that can work with you.  Please call to set up an appointment if you would like further information.  When appropriate, medications might help.  Nicotine patches, gum and lozenges are available over the counter without a prescription. 

There are also other resources available.   

- A provider may refer you to QuitWorks online. 

call the Massachusetts Quitline 1-800-QuitNow (7 days per week/24 hours per day, holiday hours may vary) to receive counseling online, by phone or through eChat and at least four weeks of free nicotine patches. 

My Life, My Quit™  has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Call or text "Start My Quit" to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help. For more information or to sign up online, visit mylifemyquit.com.

- Visit mass.gov/vaping to learn about vaping addiction, health, and quitting.

Please contact the Health Center with questions or concerns

Flu Vaccine

The Health Center has flu shots!

The flu shot can prevent you from getting the flu – or can result in a milder case of the flu if you get it.  Any student interested in getting the flu shot – please call the health center at 413-542-2267.

If you have the Amherst College Student insurance, the vaccine will be covered through insurance. If you have private insurance, your student term bill will be charged. Receipts can be sent upon request to submit to insurance for reimbursement. If you have specific questions, please contact our office at (413) 542 – 2267 or email us at healthservice@amherst.edu.

Local pharmacies, such as CVS offer the flu shot and will charge your insurance. Please contact them directly for more details.

We strongly recommend that you take the following everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your handsoften with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. And, while sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

If you are sick with flu-like symptoms – which are usually fever, body aches and cough – you should treat your symptoms with Tylenol or Ibuprofen, fluids and rest.  If your symptoms are severe or if you have questions or concerns – please call the health center at 413-542-2267. 

For additional information about influenza - https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/index.html

EEE Update

EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) is a rare disease caused by a virus, spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. EEE typically infects birds and horses, with rare human cases. There have been confirmed cases of EEE in horses in surrounding areas, though the town of Amherst remains at moderate risk.

See the links below for additional information regarding EEE, specifically in Massachusetts and from the town of Amherst:

CDC https://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/index.html

MA Department of Public Health https://www.mass.gov/service-details/eee-eastern-equine-encephalitis

Town of Amherst: https://www.amherstma.gov/3319/Mosquito-and-Tick-Disease

Everyone should take mosquito precautions including wearing long sleeves and pants, using mosquito repellant, avoiding standing water, and being aware of mosquito activity during peak times (dusk to dawn).

Measles Update

Since January 1, 2019 almost 700 cases of measles have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most cases have occurred in unimmunized individuals. This is the highest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was declared eliminated in the year 2000. There has been one reported case in Massachusetts so far in the Boston area.

Measles is serious: it causes hearing loss, encephalitis, pneumonia, miscarriage, and can be deadly. Measles is easily spread through the air-- just breathing the air in the same room, or in a public space, within a few hours of an infected person places you and others at high risk for infection: 90% of unvaccinated people become sick.

What you should know

  • Measles is a highly contagious virus, and it can be serious.
  • 90 percent of people who are not vaccinated against it will contract measles if exposed to it.
  • One dose of vaccine is 93 percent effective against measles. Two doses are 97 percent effective.
  • The measles virus is spread by respiratory secretions through coughing and sneezing.
  • Measles can be spread four days before symptoms appear, and the virus can live in the air and on surfaces for two hours.

How to protect yourself and those around you

  • If you have not had two doses of measles vaccine, get vaccinated now.
    • In the U.S., measles is usually given as part of the MMR or MMRV vaccine.
    • The MMR vaccine immunizes against measles, mumps and rubella.
    • The MMRV vaccine immunizes against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.
  • Check your immunization records.
  • The vaccine is available for students at the Keefe Health Center by appointment or at retail pharmacies.
  • Staff and faculty may seek the vaccine from their physician’s office or at retail pharmacies without an appointment.
    • Persons born before 1957 are considered immune to measles.
    • If you or your loved ones cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, please contact your physician’s office for advice.

Influenza update

 February 11, 2019

We are currently seeing cases of influenza on our campus.  This year’s strain of influenza has demonstrated the potential to cause serious illness. 

It is not too late to get a flu shot!  The flu shot can prevent you from getting the flu – or can result in a milder case of the flu if you get it.  Any student interested in getting the flu shot – please call the health center at 413-542-2267.

We strongly recommend that you take the following everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your handsoften with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people. And, while sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.

If you are sick with flu-like symptoms – which are usually fever, body aches and cough – you should treat your symptoms with Tylenol or Ibuprofen, fluids and rest.  If your symptoms are severe or if you have questions or concerns – please call the health center at 413-542-2267. 

 

For additional information about influenza - https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/index.html

 

 

Study Abroad Paperwork & Other Forms

A Study Abroad questionnaire is now available on the Patient Portal. You can also upload any paperwork, Study Abroad or other forms, that need to be filled out to the Patient Portal prior to your appointment in the Health Center. 

Meningitis

If you have received your first Meningitis B vaccine, please call to schedule to receive your second Meningitis B vaccine, as long as it has been one month after your first vaccine.

If you have not received your first Meningitis B vaccine, it’s not too late to schedule an appointment. Please call our office at 413-542-2267 to schedule your visit.