Dear members of the campus community:
I am pleased to report that the number of students reporting symptoms of the stomach virus on campus continue to decline dramatically. There were no students seen for these symptoms at the Health Center today and only few were reported by Resident Advisors in the residence halls.
I am also writing to inform the community that a student who was seen at the Health Center this morning was diagnosed with Pertussis, a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough. Pertussis is a very contagious respiratory infection that spreads from person to person by coughing or sneezing. The vaccine to prevent this infection is one of the required immunizations for students, however no vaccine is 100% effective.
The infection usually starts with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough followed by severe paroxysms of coughing a week or two later. Coughing can go on for several weeks. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention offers more information about Pertussis.
Pertussis is treated with antibiotics, and early treatment is very important. The PA Department of Health has been notified since Pertussis is a reportable disease and outbreaks can occur on a college campus.
If you have been in close contact with a person diagnosed with Pertussis, please contact the Health Center. It is recommended that close contacts be treated with antibiotics to prevent infection even if you have been vaccinated. Close contact is defined as face-to-face exposure within 3 feet of a symptomatic patient.
The Health Center is extending hours this weekend and this evening. Our hours are 9 a.m. – 5p.m. Saturday and Sunday and until 8 p.m. this evening.
Jeffrey Goldstein, M.D.
Director of Health Services