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. 

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 hands often 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

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.