Chikungunya…..funny name, not so funny virus….

keepcalminsectrepellentHearing about chikungunya virus yet?  Well, you probably will soon–a case has been confirmed in Pitt County.  The virus is mosquito borne, and causes aches, joint pain, fever and rash.  There is no treatment but you can take over the counter pain medications to help symptoms.  Most people feel better in a few days, but for some, the joint pain persists longer.  Want more information?  Visit http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/

 

Posted in General SHS info, Health Conditions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

EBOLA! (The facts, not the hype)

ebola_suitEbolaebola1

Everywhere you look, Ebola is on the news. Scary images of dying, bleeding West Africans are overplayed alongside scenes of medical personnel in space suit-looking isolation gear.  Movies like “Outbreak”, “28 Days Later”, and “Contagion” heighten our fears of a rapid, global flesh eating disease. Now we’ve brought back 2 Americans who are infected to be treated in Atlanta. Does that mean we should all be worried? Is this something that will spread across the U.S.?

First of all, don’t panic. The media has helped increase fear by making Ebola the lead story every night.  Yes, it is a serious disease that causes vomiting, fever, bleeding, and often, death. However, there is a lot about Ebola though that is left out of the sensational news stories. As a public consumer of information, knowing the facts often makes a frightening issue a lot less terrifying.

Here is what you need to know….

Ebola IS:

  • a virus
  • spread through contact with the body fluids (blood, secretions, semen) of someone that is ill with or has died from Ebola,  or from an animal infected with Ebola (chimps, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelopes, porcupines)
  • limited to West Africa at this time (primarily Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia or Nigeria)
  • very serious, particularly to people with severe nutritional deficits, lack of access to clean water, and those without medical care
  • able to be spread after death, so often the virus is transmitted during burial rituals in local African tribal communities

Ebola IS NOT:

  • a new disease (it was first identified in 1976); multiple outbreaks have occurred in Africa over the years
  • spread through air, water, or contaminated food
  • able to be prevented by vaccination nor is there a cure; infected persons are given supportive treatment with IV fluids, oxygen therapy, and other interventions
  • being transmitted in the U.S. (the 2 American cases now in an Atlanta hospital were infected during medical relief work in Liberia)
  • a risk to the general American public
  • something you can catch from being in an airplane, attending class, or living in a residence hall with someone who may have traveled to an affected area

Infectious disease experts are continually monitoring the latest information and feel very confident that a large scale outbreak that affects the United States is highly unlikely.  Travel in and out of affected countries is now restricted. Ebola is not easy to get, and with our sophisticated medical care and ability to identify and isolate cases, if an infected person arrived within our borders our public health system is ready to respond and contain the case to prevent any further spread.

ECU is also monitoring the situation, and will keep the university community informed with any updates of interest or any news that impacts our campus.

Want to read more?  Use reputable health care sites and news agencies that report facts, not those that try to drum up viewers with scary sensational stories.  Here are a few articles and sites we like:
Ebola 101: The Facts Behind a Frightening Virus
CDC Ebola Info
WHO Ebola Virus Disease

Have you traveled to an affected area or know someone who has?  Read this: Information from the NC Department of Health and Human Services

Still have questions?  Concerns?  Students can contact us at ECU Student Health Services, (252) 328-6841 or by emailing us at gotquestions@ecu.edu.  Faculty/staff should contact the Office of Prospective Health, (252) 744-2070.

Posted in General SHS info, Health Conditions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Summer Intersession Hours and Fees

summer2

Now that summer classes are over for most students, Student Health Service has a change in operating hours from Monday, August 4-Friday, August 22.

During this period, Student Health is open for general business (dropping off forms, requesting medical records, general information) from 7:30am-12noon & 1pm-5pm, Monday-Friday.  Patient care hours (for appointments, dressing changes, pharmacy, etc) are 1:30pm-4pm Monday-Thursday and 7:30am-5:00pm Friday.  We are closed Saturday/Sunday.  Please also note:  SHS is CLOSED daily from 12pm-1pm.

A visit fee is required during this period to be seen as a patient at SHS (unless you are a dental or medical student who still has class during this time).  The fee is $30 per visit, in addition to any other charges you may incur during your appointment (lab, pharmacy, xray, etc).  The reason there is a visit fee is because during intersession, no student fees are supporting campus services.  We are open as a courtesy and convenience to students even when there are no classes, but your tuition and fees do not cover this period of service.

If you need care when SHS is not open, do not forget about our free 24 hour nurse line.  Just call our main number below and wait on the line.  This service is available to all ECU students.

For more information about our intersession hours or the visit fee for service, call us at (252) 328-6841.

Need Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) during this time?  Call their office for information on summer hours and eligibility: (252) 328-6661.

Posted in General SHS info | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Session Fees

Now that summer has come, many students are not taking classes but they would still like to utilize Student Health Service (SHS) or the Counseling Center (CCSD).  Not in summer school?  You may be eligible to still receive care at SHS & CCSD.

Did you just graduate?  Congratulations!  Due to anti-trust laws, SHS cannot continue to provide your healthcare, but we can 1) help you transfer your records to the office of your choice, 2) provide you with a list of local offices if you need help establishing care outside, or 3) we do have a 2 week grace period following graduation if you need to come in for a follow up of an existing problem (i.e. to get a medication refilled, or to finish up treatment for a particular problem or concern).

If you did not graduate, but are just not taking classes in summer school, you may still be eligible for care at SHS and/or CCSD.  In order to qualify for services at SHS/CCSD in the summer when you are not taking classes,

          • you must have been enrolled this past spring AND
          • you must be registered for fall classes

If you meet those criteria, you can be seen at SHS/CCSD for a special summer fee.  The summer fee is necessary because you are not taking classes for the summer or paying any tuition, so you are not paying the usual health fee.  To pay the health fee for either SHS or CCSD service, stop by the Student Health Center.

There are 2 options for paying the summer fee for care at SHS:
Per visit fee $30.00
OR
Need multiple visits? Pay $60.00 for unlimited visits per summer session.

Need care at CCSD?  One option is available:
$60.00 per session (the per visit fee is not available for CCSD service)

First summer session fees are charged May 19-June 24.
Second summer session fees are charged June 25-Aug 1.

Once summer classes end, the only option for the fee is $30 per visit from August 4-August 22. (CCSD’s services may be limited during this period)

Questions?  Call SHS at (252) 328-6841 or CCSD at (252) 328-6661.

Have a healthy summer!

Posted in General SHS info | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

May Intersession Hours: May 12-16

Now that summer classes are over for most students, Student Health Service has a change in operating hours for the May Intersession, May 12-16.

Our office is closed Monday, May 12, for an all day staff development event.

Tuesday-Friday, May 13-16, Student Health is open for general business (dropping off forms, requesting medical records, general information) from 7:30am-12noon & 1pm-5pm.  Patient care hours (for appointments, dressing changes, pharmacy, etc) are 1:30pm-4pm daily.  We are closed Saturday/Sunday.  Please also note:  SHS is CLOSED from 12pm-1pm for the lunch hour daily.

A visit fee is required during this period to be seen as a patient at SHS.  The fee is $30 per visit, in addition to any other charges you may incur during your appointment (lab, pharmacy, xray, etc).  The reason there is a visit fee is because during intersession, no student fees are supporting campus services.  We are open as a courtesy and convenience to students even when there are no classes, but your tuition and fees do not cover this period of service.

If you need care when SHS is not open, do not forget about our free 24 hour nurse line.  Just call our main number below and wait on the line.  This service is available to all ECU students.

For more information about our intersession hours or the visit fee for service, call us at (252) 328-6841.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What is Fast Track?

What is the Fast Track Clinic?

The Fast Track Clinic has been created to provide quick visits for STI (sexually transmitted infection) screening—we want to help & get you on the “fast track” back to your busy day.  There is no physical examination—just a few quick questions asked by a Registered Nurse, a trip to our lab & that is it!  Most visits take 15 minutes or less.

Who can use the Fast Track STI Clinic?
Because we want to keep visits very short and simple, we only perform STI screening on those students who are NOT experiencing any symptoms.  If you have bumps, sores, discharge, abdominal pain, pain with urination or other medical problems, or if you need a prescription for birth control, you need to make an appointment with a provider though our general clinic.  However, if any of the following applies, Fast Track is for you:

  • No symptoms, but you want a routine STI screen to help keep yourself healthy
  • No symptoms, but you are concerned about a sexual encounter that has occurred or you have a new partner (keep in mind, it takes at least 7 days for gonorrhea, chlamydia or syphilis to show up on a test and can take 3 months to detect HIV so make sure you do not test too early)
  • You were treated for gonorrhea/chlamydia with antibiotics and symptoms are gone but you want to make sure the medication was completely effective

What STI tests are done during a Fast Track screening visit?
Gonorrhea/Chlamydia                         obtained by urine sample                            $ 30.00
Syphilis                                                    obtained by blood sample                           $   9.00
HIV                                                           obtained by blood sample                                 free

 (we do not test for herpes or HPV/genital warts through Fast Track as those tests are only done if a person is having symptoms of those particular STIs.  If you think you have herpes or HPV, please make an appointment for our general clinic)  

How and when do I get my results?
Your results are confidential.   A notification will be sent through your Pirate email with directions on how to access your test results using your secure online Student Health account.  Typically results are available for gonorrhea/chlamydia and syphilis testing in 3- 5 business days.  HIV test results may take up to 1 week.

How do I use the Fast Track STI Clinic?
To make an appointment, call 328-6841, come in to our appointment office inside SHS, or go online to https://shs.ecu.edu to schedule.  It is important that you do not urinate for at least 60 minutes prior to your appointment.  

If you have any further questions or concerns, call us at 328-6841 or visit www.ecu.edu/studenthealth

 

Posted in General SHS info, Health Promotion | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

FLU, FLU, FLU!!!

sneezeFlu is here!

Activity is now high in North Carolina and we are seeing an increase of cases here at Student Health.

Signs of the flu:  sudden onset of fever, body aches, fatigue, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache.  Rarely it can cause diarrhea or vomiting, but influenza and the “stomach flu” are NOT the same thing.  Flu makes you feel horrible, fast.   Like hit by a truck horrible.

What to do if you are sick:  stay away from others until you have been fever-free for 24 hrs without having to take fever reducing medication.  Take ibuprofen/tylenol for aches and fever, drink a lot of fluids, rest, and cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue that you throw away. WASH YOUR HANDS.  Are you high risk for flu complications?  Read this and if applies, call us at 328-6841.

  • Do you need a friend to pick up food for you at the dining hall?  You can fill out this form and let your buddy grab you something to eat.
  • Do you need to let your professors know you are sick?  Log onto Onestop and use the “Flu Self Reporting Form”.  Be advised:  this is NOT an excuse.  But, it lets your professors know you are ill and they may work with you on missed work.

What to do if your roommate or someone you love is sickhttp://www.flu.gov/symptoms-treatment/caring-for-someone/index.html

If you aren’t sick, here are a few things to do to try to avoid the flu:

  • get a flu shot–although the best time to get vaccinated is early fall, it is not too late.  Student Health gave out of our supply in the fall, but you can go to any retail pharmacy (Target, Walgreens, CVS, RiteAid, etc) or check with the health department.
  • Avoid sick people–if your friend says they don’t feel well, maybe you should cancel that study session or lunch date.
  • Don’t eat, drink, or smoke after others.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth–we don’t realize how much we introduce germs into our system just by our habits.
  • Wash your hands way more than you think is necessary.  Also, alcohol based sanitizers do work against flu, so get you a bottle to keep in your bag.
  • Surfaces are gross–doorknobs, chair rails, keyboards, money, pens, phones, etc all can harbor flu virus particles.  Remember to clean your hands often especially after touching items others have used.

A few FAQ:

  • Does SHS test for flu?
    Yes, we can.  It is done by swabbing nasal secretions and costs $32.  But, in many cases, it is not helpful since the treatment for flu is based on symptoms, not test results, so your treatment is the same whether the test is negative or positive.
  • Should I see a doctor?
    In most cases, if you are healthy and have no underlying major medical issues like asthma, pregnancy, diabetes, HIV, heart conditions, cancer, etc, you do not need to see a health care provider since flu typically resolves on its own.  However, if you have severe symptoms or feel that you are not improving, you need to call your doctor or if you have an emergency, call 911.
  • If I have flu, do I need Tamiflu (antiviral medication)?
    Again, probably not.  Learn more here.  If you have a severe case, or are at high risk for complications, then your doctor will probably prescribe an anti-viral; however, low risk otherwise healthy people do not need prescription medication for flu.

Still have more flu related questions?  Email us at fluquestions@ecu.edu

Also, don’t forget: anytime we are not open, you always have the 24hr nurseline available to you for medical advice.  Call our main number, 328-6841, and listen to the instructions for speaking with a nurse.

Student Health continually monitors the flu situation.  Look to www.ecu.edu/studenthealth for updates and please follow us on Twitter (@ECU_SHS) for the most up to date information for campus!

 

Sources & web links for even more flu information:

Flu.Gov                 http://www.flu.gov/
CDC                       http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

Posted in General SHS info, Health Conditions | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Winter Break 2013 Hours and Fees

Doctor showing clockStudent Health’s hours of operation will vary for the upcoming winter holiday break.

**Please note:  student fees do not cover services during University intersession breaks. Each SHS clinic visit is subject to a $30.00 fee from December 16-January 10.**

Sat/Sun, Dec. 14 and 15:  CLOSED
Monday December 16: Open 8am-12 noon and 1pm-5pm for general business (dropping off immunization records, filling out medical releases, etc.); patient care appointments and pharmacy services are only available 1:30-4pm.  Closed during 12pm-1pm lunch hour.
Tuesday December 17: We are closed 8am-1:30pm for a staff meeting. Open for general business 1:30pm-5pm; patient care appointments and pharmacy services are only available 1:30-4pm.
Wednesday December 18-Friday December 20: Open 8am-12 noon and 1pm-5pm for general business (dropping off immunization records, filling out medical releases, etc.); patient care appointments and pharmacy services are only available 1:30-4pm.  Closed during 12pm-1pm lunch hour.
Saturday December 21-Wednesday January 1:  CLOSED
Thursday January 2-Friday January 3: Open 8am-12 noon and 1pm-5pm for general business (dropping off immunization records, filling out medical releases, etc.); patient care appointments and pharmacy services are only available 1:30-4pm.  Closed during 12pm-1pm lunch hour.
Sat/Sun, Jan. 4 and 5:  CLOSED
Monday January 6-Friday January 10:  Open 8am-12 noon and 1pm-5pm for general business (dropping off immunization records, filling out medical releases, etc.); patient care appointments and pharmacy services are only available 1:30-4pm.  Closed during 12pm-1pm lunch hour.
Sat/Sun, Jan. 11 and 12:  Open 9:00-11:30am for urgent needs only.
Monday, Jan. 13Regular operating hours and appointment schedules resume

Don’t forget:  anytime SHS is closed, you still have access to medical advice.  Call 911 for emergencies, but if you just want to talk to a nurse about an issue, call 328-6841 and stay on the line to be transferred to our free, 24 hr nurse line. You can also find self care information for treating your problem on our webpage, or you can submit a question to gotquestions@ecu.edu

Have a wonderful holiday break, Pirates!!!

Posted in General SHS info | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Student Blue waiver/enrollment period for Spring/Summer 2014 now open!

InsWaiverBanner_1The waiver/enrollment system for Spring/Summer 2014 is now open through January 31, 2014.

To find out information about the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), including benefits, cost, eligibility, and how SHIP works with the student health fee, visit our Student Health Insurance page.

Need help deciding if SHIP is right for you/your student?  This short video may help you decide.

Brand new students will first need to create an account on Student Blue, using their Banner ID and date of birth, then proceed with the waiver or enrollment process.  Returning students should log in to their existing Student Blue account, using their e-mail address and the password they created for the account last semester.

Ready to waive out or enroll?  Click on the Student Blue logo below.
studentbluejpg

Posted in Insurance | Tagged | Leave a comment

Flu shot clinic for 10/24 canceled

Due to the cold temps today and the Dowdy Sidewalk Sale going on, we have canceled the flu clinic for today. Please see our remaining flu clinic dates in the post below, or call 328-6841 to schedule a flu shot appointment with our pharmacy.

Posted in General SHS info, Immunizations | Tagged , | Leave a comment