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Coronavirus  (3/9/2020)

University Coronavirus updates can be found here https://www.umassd.edu/emergency/coronavirus

In addition to the CDC website, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ,the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) has a website that is being updated regularly  https://www.mass.gov/resource/information-on-the-outbreak-of-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Stop the Spread of Germs fact sheet available here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/stop-the-spread-of-germs.pdf

A new information sheet published by the CDC (What You Should Do) is available here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/what-you-should-do.pdf

Coronavirus (1-30-2020)

The CDC has released a Coronavirus and You Fact Sheet which can be found at the following link:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (01/28/20)

Over the last two weeks, Student Health Services and partners across campus have been carefully monitoring the evolving coronavirus situation. As you likely know, this new disease originated in Wuhan, China and has affected over 2,000 people with 5 reported cases in the United States as of this message. The threat to the UMass Dartmouth community currently is considered low, but outbreaks of new viruses in humans are always a public health concern.

This message provides a general update as well as specific instructions if you plan to visit China or have recently traveled to Wuhan. Since information regarding this disease is changing quickly, please check the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html for the most up-to-date details and guidance.

As of today, the CDC recommends deferring nonessential travel to China. The US Department of State has issued a “do not travel” advisory for all of Hubei Province.  Chinese visitors coming to the U.S. from Wuhan are now being screened at several U.S. airports, but this process does not currently apply to visitors from other parts of China.

If you are a student who has recently been to Wuhan or who has possibly come in contact with an infected individual AND you exhibit any of the following symptoms

  • Fever
  • cough
  • Shortness of breath

please contact Student Health Services at 508.999.8982 Monday-Friday between 8am-5pm or our RN Telephone Advice line after hours at 508.815.4588.

 Similarly, if you are a faculty or staff member with these symptoms and you have traveled to Wuhan or may have come in contact with an infected individual, you should seek medical assistance through your primary care physician.

 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:

  •  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.
  • 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.

 Health officials and administrators throughout the University will continue to work closely with partners at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to prepare for, screen, and prevent the spread of illness and keep our community safe.

 

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.


Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html

https://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/impact-of-e-cigarettes-on-lung.html

https://smokefree.gov/

https://www.becomeanex.org

http://makesmokinghistory.org/dangers-of-vaping

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