Flu / Influenza
Influenza (the flu) is an acute respiratory disease caused by an influenza virus. Symptoms include headache, fever, prostration, and sore throat. Sufficiently serious to keep you out of classes for 2 weeks, the flu can be prevented by vaccination. It should be repeated yearly because virus strains change. Flu vaccine is free to Brookdale students, beginning annually late September through December 15 or until supplies are exhausted.
Gardasil is now recommended for men. Young boys and men, ages 9 to 26, who take advantage of Gardasil are protected against 90% of genital warts cases. Gardasil may not protect everyone, nor will it protect against diseases caused by other HPV types of diseases not caused by HPV. Gardasil is given as 3 injections over six months.
Women: for information about the Gardasil vaccination against cervical cancer please come to the Student Health Center, MAC 112.
Hepatitis is a broad term that encompasses many different diseases, which are grouped together because they cause the liver to become inflamed.
Hepatitis A is a virus and comes from the HAV and RNA viruses, which include the polio virus and common cold viruses. Hepatitis A is transmitted by a fecal-oral route, in which particles are shed in the fecal matter of the infected person. You can also become infected by injesting contaminated food or water. When these particles gain access to the digestive system of an individual, that person becomes susceptible to the disease and is infected.
Signs and symptoms include fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, abdominal pain or discomfort, dark urine, and jaundice. Onset is often sudden and occurs approximately one month after infection. However, people are infectious just 10 to 12 days after exposure. Symptoms of Hepatitis A can last as long as 6 month in those who become infected and there is no specific treatment. Anyone can get Hepatitis at any time.
The CDC estimates that one of three adults do not wash their hands after leaving the bathroom. It is important to cover your mouth and wash your hands if you sneeze, to wash your hands after using a restroom, and before preparing and/or eating food.
Hepatitis A vaccine is specially recommended for the following: travelers to areas with high rate of Hepatitis A, men who have sex with men, injecting and non-injecting drug users, persons with clotting disorders, and persons with chronic liver disease.Two doses of vaccine are required to ensure protection, with the second dose given six months after the first dose.
Vaccination against this serious liver disease is recommended for all entering college students, and is required for health–care students. Sexually active persons are at highest risk. Symptoms are jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and joint pain - however, 30% of individuals have no signs or symptoms.
Transmission occurs when blood or body fluids from an infected person enter the body of a person who is not immune. HBV is spread through having sex with an infected person without using a condom (the efficacy of latex condoms in preventing infection with HBV is unknown), but their proper use may reduce transmission), by sharing drugs, needles, or “works” when shooting drugs, through needlesticks or sharps exposures on the job, or from an infected mother to her baby during birth. Persons at risk for HBV infection might also be at risk for infection with Hepatitis C virus (HCV) or HIV.
Prevention The Hepatitis B vaccine is the best protection. If you are having sex, but not with one partner (monogamous) use latex condoms correctly each and every time you have sex. The efficacy of latex condoms in preventing infection with HBV is unknown, but their proper use may reduce transmission. Do not share personal care items that might have blood on them (razors, toothbrushes). Getting a tattoo or body piercing may increase the risk of Hepatitis B infection. You might get infected if the tools have someone else’s blood on them and not disinfected properly.
If you have or had Hepatitis B, do not donate blood, organs, or tissue. If you are a health care or public safety worker, get vaccinated against hepatitis B and always follow routine barrier precautions and safely handle needles and other sharps.
There are three stages to the vaccination:
1. Initial injection
2. Second injection 1 month later
3. Third injection within 6 months of the original injection.
Those with an inadequate titer should begin the vaccinations for the second time. Please note the hepatitis B vaccine is synthesized by saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast) if you are allergic to yeast products, this vaccine would be a contraindication for you.
Source: Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
MMR II (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live) is a live virus vaccine for vaccination against Measles (Rubeola), Mumps and Rubella (German measles). The MMR vaccine is available for a fee; phone (732) 224-2106.
Measles (Rubeola) averages an incubation period of 7 – 18 days (prodomal and exposure). Measles can be complicated by bronchopneumonia, diarrhea, middle ear infection, and in rare instances encephalitis.
Rubella (German Measles) averages an incubation period of 12-23 days. It is characterized by a low-grade fever and a rash. The most important dangers of Rubella are miscarriages, stillbirths, fetal anomalies, and therapeutic abortions that can occur during the first trimester of pregnancy. Rubella vaccination studies indicate that greater than 90% of vaccinated persons have protection that may be lifelong, according to CDC unpublished data.
Mumps has an average incubation period of 16-18 days. Mumps may be preceded by fever, headaches, malaise, myalgia, and anorexia. Orchitis is a serious condition of mumps in college age men; sterility can occur in rare instances. (Studies indicate that vaccinations of the first measles vaccine after one year old, greater than 99% of persons who receive two doses of the measles vaccine develop serologic evidence of measles immunity, according to CDC unpublished data). Mumps vaccination confers measurable antibody after one dose of the vaccine to 95% of those vaccinated.
Vaccination - Two (2) doses of MMR vaccine separated by 30 days, except for persons born before 1957. Note: colleges and universities have large concentrations of persons who may be susceptible to these diseases. To reduce the incidence of outbreaks on campuses the State of New Jersey requires all full-time students to show evidence of vaccination. MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella), or a positive serologic evidence of immunity to measles, mumps and rubella. Two doses are required.
MMR vaccination is contraindicated in persons with a history of egg or gelatin allergy, those with a history of thrombocytopenia, and persons receiving steroid therapy must consult with their physicians.
*Menomune (Menactra Vaccine) for Meningococcal Disease
Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of the spinal cord and the fluid that surrounds the brain. It is caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Viral meningitis is generally less severe and resolves without specific treatment, but bacterial meningitis can be severe and may result in brain damage, hearing loss, or learning disability.
In college age students, streptococcus pneumoniae and Nisseria meningitis are the leading causes of bacterial meningitis.
Signs and symptoms include high fever, headache, and stiff neck in anyone over the age of 2 years. Symptoms can develop over several hours, or may take 1 to 2 days. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion, sleepiness, and rash mainly on arms and legs. As the disease progresses, patients of any age may have seizures. If left untreated meningococcal meningitis can rapidly progress to death.
Early diagnosis and treatment are critical. If symptoms occur, see a doctor immediately. The diagnosis is usually made from a sample of spinal fluid. Identification of the type of bacteria responsible is important for selection of correct antibiotics.
Bacterial meningitis can be treated with a number of antibiotics. It is important that treatment be started early in the course of the disease. Appropriate antibiotic treatment of most common types of bacterial meningitis should reduce the risk of dying from meningitis to below 15%, although the risk is higher among the elderly.
Meningitis is contagious through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (i.e., coughing, kissing). Do not share drinks, cigarettes or have any intimate contact with someone who exhibits signs and symptoms of infection or any “flu-like” symptoms. People in the same household or day-care center or anyone with direct contact with a patient’s oral secretions (such as a boyfriend or girlfriend) would be considered at increased risk of acquiring the infection.
There are vaccines against meningitis. They are safe and highly effective, and the America College Health Association recommends that college students consider vaccination to reduce the risk of this potentially fatal disease.
*Tetanus -Tdap(Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed):
Most young adults have completed a primary series against these former childhood diseases, but boosters for diphtheria and tetanus are needed every 7 - 10 years to maintain protection.