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STI/STD Awareness Month!

STI/STD Awareness Month

Know your status, Pirates!

April is STI/STD Awareness Month! This is a time to increase awareness and encourage testing for sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STIs or STDs) including HIV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that of sexually active people in the US, 1 in 2 will get an STI by the time they’re 25. That could be you or the person sitting next to you in class. There are about 20 million new STIs diagnosed each year, half are among young people ages 15-24. While getting an STI is more common than you probably thought, people are still incredibly uncomfortable talking about it. Let’s change that now!

This STI Awareness Month (and all year long), take control of your sexual health. Start having open and honest conversations with your partner(s) and healthcare provider about sexual health and STIs. Here are some conversation starters that might help you when talking to your partner(s):

Talk before you have sex.

  • “Getting tested before we have sex will help protect both of us.”
  • “Many people who have an STI don’t know it. Why take a chance when we can know for sure?”

There are other things you may want to talk to your partner about, such as:

  • Sexual history – the number of partners you’ve had and what kind of protection you used
  • Risk factors – like whether you’ve had sex without a condom or used drugs with needles

Share the facts.

  • “STIs that are found and treated early are less likely to cause long-term problems.”
  • “Getting tested is easy. Doctors can test urine (pee) for chlamydia and gonorrhea, some of the most common STIs. And some HIV tests can give results in 20 minutes. You may not even have to give blood.”
  • “If you don’t feel comfortable talking about STIs with your regular doctor, you can get tested at a clinic instead.”

Show that you care.

  • “I really care about you. I want to make sure we are both healthy.”
  • “I’ve been tested for STIs, including HIV. Are you willing to do the same?”
  • “Let’s get tested together.”

Agree to stay safe.

  • “If we’re going to have sex, using condoms is the best way to protect us from STIs. Let’s use condoms every time we have sex.”
  • “We can enjoy sex more if we know it’s safe.”

Being a student is challenging on its own, we understand you are in the process of carving your own path in life. STIs don’t define you or what you can do in life. Sometimes you can feel alone with an STI diagnosis. You don’t have to be alone – speak to someone you trust, a friend, parent or healthcare provider and talk about it.

The only way to know your status is to get tested. At Student Health, you have two options for getting tested:

  • If you are symptom-free, you can schedule a visit with the Fast Track nurse to test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and/or syphilis. Make sure not to urinate within 1 hour of your appointment time (if you want oral screening for chlamydia/gonorrhea, do not eat/drink/chew for 1 hour prior to your appointment).
  • If you have symptoms and need testing for possible warts or herpes, make a clinic appointment with one of our providers. They can also treat any other symptoms you may have like penile drip or discharge; sores, bumps or blisters around your genital or anal area; burning with urination; swollen or tender testicles; throat pain; rectal bleeding, discharge, itching, or bumps.

Remember, STIs are very common but most young people don’t know they are infected. If you do have an STI, work with your healthcare provider to get the proper treatment. It’s important to always wear a condom or use a dental dam to avoid getting an STI or infecting your partner(s).

Have a general question about STIs? E-mail us at gotquestions@ecu.edu.

Sources:

American Sexual Health Association (ASHA): Yes Means Test. www.yesmeanstest.org

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): STD Awareness Month – Archive

https://www.cdc.gov/std/sam/archive.htm

Image source: https://www.healthypeople.gov/

Lots of people saying the “F” word around here lately…….FLU :(

woman holding tissue up to her nose

Flu is here!

We are seeing an increase of flu cases here at Student Health. Here is some important information about flu and what to do if you (or someone close to you) gets sick.

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 (252) 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 Pirate Port 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 has plenty of vaccine available or visit one of your local retail pharmacies, urgent care centers, or your primary medical provider’s office.
  • 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. 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 performed or not if the provider suspects flu.
  • 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.
  • Can SHS give me a note to miss class?
    No. SHS can not give class excuses.
  • 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, (252) 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) and Facebook (ECU Student Health Services) for the most up to date information for campus.

Source:

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

December/January Schedule

Student Health’s hours of operation will vary around 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 19-January 6, 2017.**

Thursday, December 15
CLOSED 12:00pm-2:00pm for a staff event

Saturday, December 17 – Sunday, December 18
CLOSED

Monday, December 19 – Thursday, December 22

Medical care and pharmacy open 1:30pm-4:00pm only.  Office is open for general business (dropping off records, medical releases, etc) from 8:00am-12noon and 1:00pm-5:00pm.  CLOSED 12:00-1:00pm.  ***All students must pay a $30.00 visit charge for medical care during this time since there are no classes or student fees paid during this period***

Friday, December 23 – Monday, January 2, 2017

CLOSED

Tuesday, January 3 – Friday, January 6 (EXCEPT THURSDAY)
Medical care and pharmacy open 1:30pm-4:00pm only.  Office is open for general business (dropping off records, medical releases, etc) from 8:00am-12noon and 1:00pm-5:00pm.  CLOSED 12:00-1:00pm.  ***All students must pay a $30.00 visit charge for medical care during this time since there are no classes or student fees paid during this period***

Thursday, January 5:
No medical care or pharmacy available. SHS will be open 8:00am-12:00pm for general business ONLY. CLOSED 12:00pm-5:00pm.

Saturday, January 7 – Sunday, January 8
Regular schedule resumes. Please see our Hours of Operation for full details.

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 other options on our After Hours Care page, or you can submit a question to gotquestions@ecu.edu

Have a wonderful holiday break, Pirates!!!

Thanksgiving week hours of operation

Doctor showing clock

Due to the holiday week, SHS will have a change in our normal operating hours.

Monday/Tuesday, Nov. 21 & 22:  normal hours

Wednesday, Nov. 23:  Open for patient care and pharmacy 1:30-4pm only.  We are open 8am-5pm for general business (dropping off immunization records, filling out medical releases, etc.) SHS will be closed 12:00-1:00pm for the lunch hour.

Thursday, Nov. 24-Sunday, Nov. 27:  CLOSED.  Enjoy the holiday break!

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

Happy Thanksgiving Pirates!!!

World Diabetes Day recipe

Our dietitian has shared a recipe in honor of World Diabetes Day that is a good snack for any day.

cherryalmondsnack

 

Cherry Almond Snack Mix

Ingredients

  • 4 cups sweetened oat square cereal or brown sugar-flavored oat biscuit cereal
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cherries and/or golden raisins

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a 15x10x1-inch baking pan combine cereal and almonds.
  2. In a small bowl stir together melted butter, apple pie spice, and salt. Drizzle butter mixture over cereal mixture; toss to coat.
  3. Bake about 20 minutes or until almonds are toasted, stirring once.
  4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Stir in dried cherries.
  5. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

    Makes: 20, ¼ cup servings.

  • Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 82 calories, 3 g fat, 13 g carb, 1 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 2 g protein.

Quick Tip:

Mix and match your cereals, for example, combine 2 cups each of a brown sugar and a cinnamon flavored cereal.

 

Source: bhg.com/recipe

Get Smart About Antibiotics

ECU Student Health Services (SHS) is supporting Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, November 14-20, by sharing education and social media messages about when antibiotics are indicated, how to take them correctly, and why overuse contributes negatively to our health.  SHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want you to know why antibiotics are not always the answer and why SHS providers are so careful about only prescribing antibiotics when indicated, not just because a patient requests them.

The CDC has news this cold and flu season:  antibiotics do not touch viruses—never have, never will!  And it is not really news—it is a long-documented medical fact. Antibiotics can only treat illnesses caused by bacteria. Colds, the flu, most sore throats, bronchitis, and many sinus and ear infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria. If you have a viral infection, antibiotics will not help you feel better or get well sooner. In fact, they can even be harmful.

Taking antibiotics when they are not needed is fueling an increase in drug-resistant bacteria, which cause infections that are more difficult, and sometimes even impossible, to cure. Almost all types of bacteria have become less responsive to antibiotic treatment. Heard of MRSA? These “superbugs” can quickly spread to family members, schoolmates and coworkers, and threaten our communities with illnesses that were once easily treatable. Combatting antibiotic resistance is a priority for CDC with estimates of more than 2 million resistant infections occurring annually in the United States alone.

When antibiotics are used for viral infections, you are not getting the best care. A course of antibiotics will not fight the virus, help you feel better, or lead to a quicker recovery. It may even be harmful. If you are diagnosed with a viral illness, SHS providers will give you advice on what to do to feel more comfortable while the immune system does its work. Suggestions might include drinking plenty of fluids, getting a lot of rest, using over the counter medications, using a cool mist humidifier, or gargling with salt water. Please help SHS continue its commitment to safe and smart antibiotic use by educating yourself about antibiotics.

antibiotic-usage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If an antibiotic is prescribed for you, take it as directed and complete the entire course of medication, regardless of when you start feeling better.  Partial doses of antibiotics should not be saved “for next time”—this increases resistance and allows the bacteria to possibly come back stronger.  You should also know to never take medication prescribed for others—even if you have similar symptoms as your roommate or think you have the same illness as a friend, it is NEVER okay to share prescriptions or take a dose of antibiotics from another person.

As always, if you have ANY questions about their diagnosis, treatment plan, or how to help your symptoms, call us at 252-328-6841 or email us at gotquestions@ecu.edu.   For more information about the right way to use antibiotics, visit www.cdc.gov/getsmart.

Article adapted from CDC’s educational materials for Get Smart About Antibiotics week.

Cook something bold and pungent day!

In the midst of all the election fanfare, did you know yesterday was “Cook something bold and pungent” day????

WELL….if you need a dinner idea, here is one our dietitian passed along!

mexican-rice

MEXICAN SKILLET RICE

  (6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 16-ounce can pinto beans, drained
  • 2 4-ounce cans diced green chiles
  • 1 medium fresh tomato, seeded and chopped (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  1. In large skillet over medium-high heat, cook meat until brown, stirring to crumble; drain. Return meat to skillet.
  2. Add onion, chili powder, cumin and salt; cook until onion is tender.
  3. Stir in rice, beans and chiles; thoroughly heat.
  4. Top with tomato and garnish with cilantro if desired. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts per serving: Calories, 313; Total Fat, 9g; Cholesterol, 29 mg; Sodium, 340 mg; Total Carbohydrate, 43 g; Dietary Fiber, 6 g; Protein,17 g

SOURCE: Recipe and image courtesy of the USA Rice Federation. For more information about rice, visit www.usarice.com

SIDE NOTES:

  1. If desired, lower the sodium further by cutting back or omitting the salt.

YUMMY Fall Break treat!!!

pumpkin-butter

credit to mywholefoodlife.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cashew Pumpkin Butter

 

Ingredients:

1 cup cashew butter

1 cup pumpkin

¼ cup of maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp of ginger

¼  tsp of sea salt

2 Tbsp of mini chocolate chips

 

In a food processor (or by hand) mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips. Once all combined, mix in the chips.

Serve with apple slices, graham crackers or pretzels.

Tip: make these into cookies by chilling the batter until firm enough to drop cookie dough onto a lined baking sheet.

Bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees.

Makes 15 cookies

Nibbles for Health…..Craving-Driven Eating

popcorn

Craving-driven eating may be conscious or unconscious. You might see food and eat it just because it’s there, without even realizing it, which would be a case of mindless grazing. Or you might see the food, experience a craving, recognize that you are not hungry, and make a conscious choice to eat anyway. In contrast, hunger-driven eating is always conscious: hunger, as a physiological imperative, commands the presence of the mind.

All eating triggers (or the environmental stimuli that pull the strings of our appetite and provoke cravings) can be divided into the following eight categories: food characteristics, activities, settings (places), events, time, people, words, and weather.

  • Food Characteristics: smells, sights, and sounds.
  • Activities: TV, reading entertainment, thinking, problem solving, and socializing.
  • Settings: indoors (eating in, eating out), outdoors (backyard barbecue, picnic, drive-in).
  • Events: holidays, birthdays, weddings, parties, grief, anniversaries, stress days, and nighttime.
  • Time: breakfast time, brunch time, lunchtime, dinnertime, suppertime, and nighttime.
  • People: permission people (foodie friends, parents, comfort/support people), and stress people.
  • Words: health words, taste words, food words, food-processing words (roasted, grilled), and brand names.
  • Weather: inclement weather, picnic weather.

I love to go to the movies, not for the movie per say as much as for the popcorn and soda. I could have just eaten a 6-course meal and feel stuffed to the gills, but if you mention its movie time…I am all in for a buttery bucket of popcorn and a large soda. I may just sit there holding it, but I can’t go and NOT get some. This is a classic activity induced trigger.

How about you, do you have any environmental eating triggers? Consider challenging yourself for the next two weeks, and keep track of your eating. After eating, simply ask yourself ‘why’ you ate. If you ate out of hunger, you have nothing further to do. If, however, you ate out of a craving, then ask yourself what type of trigger it was that prompted your eating. After two weeks, draw conclusions about your key trigger vulnerabilities. Are you a “stress eater,” a “TV-watching eater,” an “eater-outer,” a “by-the-clock-eater?” Use the chart above to help you identify which trigger or triggers caused your craving.

 

Adapted from: Eating The Moment by Pavel G. Somov, Ph.D.

Written by Jeanne Finney, ECU SHS Dietitian.  Make an appointment with her by calling 252-328-6841; nutrition services are FREE for ECU students!

August Intersession Info

Reminder about summer fees/receiving care in August

Just a reminder…..now that classes are over, student fees are no longer covering services at SHS.  Any patient treated at SHS will have a $30 per visit charge from August 1-August 19)

To be eligible to make an appointment for care, you must have been registered this past spring or summer, AND be registered for the fall semester.  New, incoming Pirates are not eligible to receive care at SHS until move in (beginning Aug. 17th).

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 Monday-Thursday, and 7:30am-11:30am on Friday. Please also note: SHS is CLOSED from 12pm-1pm for the lunch hour daily.

Center for Counseling and Student Development (CCSD) services may be limited during this period).

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

Have a healthy rest of summer and see you soon for move in!

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