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Mpox

As of August 4, 2022 there have been 7,102 confirmed cases in the US - 157 confirmed cases in Massachusetts.  Mpox is a viral contagious disease that can present with a rash that progresses through various stages (blisters or vesicle, pimples or pustules, crusted lesions) and is sometime associated with flu-like symptoms. It is spread through close personal contact (often skin to skin) with a person who is infected with mpox (direct contact with rash, scabs or body fluids). Objects and fabrics such as clothing, towels, bed linens and surfaces that have been touched by someone with mpox can also spread the virus. Respiratory secretions of an infected individual can also spread the virus. Transmission often occurs during intimate contact.

An individual who is concerned they may have developed mpox or who have been exposed to an individual infected with mpox should wear a mask, isolate and schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider. 

Additional information:

COVID-19

The University's COVID-19 updates can be found on the COVID-19 informational website.

As a reminder, the best preventative steps for any communicable disease include simple but important measures to practice as part of your daily routine, but especially during flu season and COVID:

  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid sharing anything that has come in contact with saliva, whether in your living or social environments.
  • Wear a mask indoors or any time you are in close contact with others
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals to ensure a healthy immune system.

Vaping Crisis (09/26/2019)

You might have seen in the news that Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has declared a public health crisis and has banned the sale of all vaping paraphernalia for at least 4 months.  This is due to a nationwide outbreak of severe respiratory illnesses and sudden deaths associated with the use of e-cigarette/vaping products (devices, liquids, refill pods and/or cartridges). While some of the patients reported recent use of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or cannabinoid (CBD) containing products, some reported using nicotine products.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is currently investigating the outbreak in order to determine what is causing the illnesses. Until we know more, CDC recommends that you refrain from using e-cigarettes or vaping products. Anyone who uses an e-cigarette or vaping product should not buy these products off the street and should not modify or add any substances to these products that are not intended by the manufacturer.

If you use e-cigarette or vaping products, monitor yourself for symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, chest pain) and promptly seek medical attention if you have concerns about your health.

Many people who vape have become addicted to nicotine and will need help in quitting. Often people are able to quit through the use of nicotine replacement products such as gum and patches. Massachusetts has initiated a statewide standing order for these products which will allow people to obtain these products as a covered benefit through their insurance without requiring an individual prescription. This means you can go to any pharmacy in Massachusetts and get nicotine replacement products without obtaining a prescription from your health care provider.  In addition to nicotine replacement, other medications are available to help a person quit smoking or vaping. Students can make an appointment at Student Health Services for quit smoking/vaping counseling, as well as prescriptions for other medications.

As a reminder, smoking and vaping are prohibited on UMass Dartmouth grounds.

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