Recent (Mar

Recent Ebloa Outbreak in West Africa Alert (09/01/2014)

Many of you are likely aware that an outbreak of Ebola virus has affected areas of West Africa over the past several months including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and to a limited extent, Lagos in Nigeria.  The likelihood of being infected with Ebola virus is very small unless:

  • the person has traveled to an outbreak area AND has direct contact with blood or body secretions from an Ebola infected person or animal, 
  • OR has direct contact with objects that were wet with the blood or body fluids of someone ill with Ebola virus. 

The NEC Health and Counseling service is working in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Boston Public Health Commission to identify students, students, faculty, or staff who may have traveled to areas and are now returning to Boston.  Although the risk of a traveler arriving in the US with Ebola infection is small, we have been asked to have a plan in place to monitor returning travelers from affected regions, and to respond should members of the NEC community become ill.  The first step is to identify individuals who may be at risk due to their travel/work history.  Please contact the NEC Health and Counseling Service at 617-585-1284 at your earliest convenience if you have traveled or lived in these areas within the past 21 days.  You will be asked a series of questions:

   1.  to identify any risk factors for infection, and 

   2.  to provide instructions for monitoring, if indicated, based on your risk.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and feel free to contact us at 617-585-1284 with any questions, or to visit the CDC website for more information about the Ebola outbreak and FAQs at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/guinea/qa.html.

 

Norovirus Update (March 15, 2014)

As you are aware, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has advised the public of recent outbreaks of gastro-intestinal illness in the Boston area that are linked to Norovirus. Due to the highly contagious nature of this illness, the decision was made on 3/12/14 to notify the NEC community of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s recommendations.  In the Health Service at NEC, we have seen a few cases of gastro-intestinal illness but not more than what is normally encountered . All of the gastro-intestinal cases seen in the Health Service have fully recovered.  There have been no known hospitalizations due to gastro-intestinal illness.  The Health Center at NEC will keep you informed should an increase in gastrointestinal illness present  on campus.  We will be working closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Heath in the event that it is determined that there is a possibility  of a Norovirus outbreak. Please be assured that we are doing everything possible on campus to limit the exposure and transmission of the Norovirus.

What you need to know about the Norovirus:

  • This is a highly contagious seasonal infection causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, diarrhea generally lasting a few days only. 
  • Most people recover in 1 to 2 days although sometimes infected people are unable to drink enough fluid to replace what they are losing from diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration which sometimes necessitates a visit to the emergency room for treatment with intravenous fluids.

 

  • Dehydration is more likely to occur in very young children, the elderly or those with a weakened immune system.

How to prevent infection:

  • The single best way to protect yourself from this virus is to wash your hands after using the bathroom, before preparing food or eating, and before placing your hands near your face or mouth.
  • Proper hand washing with soap and water is the preferred method for cleaning your hands.
  • According to the Boston Public Health Commission, Alcohol‐based hand sanitizers can be used in addition to hand washing, but are not advised unless soap and water is not available.

Please notify the NEC Health and Counseling Service at 617-585-1284 if you develop any nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea  so that we can advise you regarding symptom management and work with the Department of Public Health to track the potential spread of infection. This is particularly important for those students who are living in the residence hall.

Please click on the following links to learn more about Norovirus and Proper Hand washing: 

Please don’t hesitate to call the Health Service @ 617 585-1284 with any questions or concerns.

 

Norovirus Alert (March 12, 2014)

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has advised the public of recent outbreaks of gastro-intestinal illness in the Boston area that are linked to Norovirus. Due to the highly contagious nature of this illness, it is important to recognize the symptoms when they occur.

What you need to know:

  • This is a highly contagious seasonal infection causing symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, diarrhea generally lasting a few days only.  
  • Most people recover in 1 to 2 days although sometimes infected people are unable to drink enough fluid to replace what they are losing from diarrhea and vomiting.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration which sometimes necessitates a visit to the emergency room for treatment with intravenous fluids.

 

  • Dehydration is more likely to occur in very young children, the elderly or those with a weakened immune system.

How to prevent infection:

  • The single best way to protect yourself from this virus is to wash your hands after using the bathroom, before preparing food or eating, and before placing your hands near your face or mouth.
  • Proper hand washing with soap and water is the preferred method for cleaning your hands.
  •  According to the Boston Public Health Commission, Alcohol‐based hand sanitizers can be used in addition to hand washing, but are not advised unless soap and water is not available.

Please notify the NEC Health and Counseling Service at 617-585-1284 if you develop any nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, so that we can advise you regarding symptom management and work with the Department of Public Health to track the potential spread of infection. This is particularly important for those students who are living in the residence hall.

Please click on the following links to learn more about Norovirus and Proper Hand washing: 

 

Please do not hesitate to contact the health service with any questions or concerns by calling 617-585-1284.

 

Influenza Alert

Influenza (what is referred to as the flu) activity in Boston remains low when compared to previous seasons, but remains a significant health risk.  We have encouraged NEC students and other members of the NEC community to get a seasonal influenza vaccine (flu shot) since vaccination remains the single best way to prevent the flu.  Flu activity is expected to continue into early April.  Vaccines are still available and encouraged, especially for those who are traveling for performances, auditions, or pleasure.
 
NEC students may call the NEC Health Service and Counseling Service at 617-585-1284 to schedule an appointment for a flu shot, or if they suspect that they have the flu.  

Please read more here and click on the highlighted web links for additional flu resources.

Additional Flu Resources:
www.flu.gov
Boston Public Health Commission
Centers for Diesease Control
CDC Vaccination Information

2014-03-12


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