It's time to get your Flu Shot
Welcome to the October 2010 issue of the Health Matters Newsletter. The Health Matters Newsletter is published on a monthly basis on the Health Center home page, and is linked to the weekly Campus Report. The purpose of the newsletter is to share information, regarding pertinent medical issues and health and wellness suggestions with the students, faculty and staff here at SUNY Fredonia. This month's topics include:
The 2010-2011 flu season is upon us, and it is time to get vaccinated. Traditionally, flu seasons are unpredictable due to what influenza viruses are spreading, and whether they match the viruses in the flu vaccine. Last flu season (2009-2010) , we saw the emergence of the 2009 H1N1 influenzaa virus , previously called "novel H1N1" or "swine flu". This virus caused the first influenza pandemic in more than 40 years. Although, not certain, it is likely that 2009 H1N1 viruses will continue to spread along with seasonal viruses in the United States during the 2010-2011 flu season. Fortunately, this virus will be covered in this year's seasonal flu vaccine.
What should I do to prepare for this flu season?
The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone as the first and most important step in protecting you against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common.
The "flu shot" is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older then six months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
The "nasal spray flu vaccine"is a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for "live attenuated influenza vaccine" or FluMist ) is approved for the use in healthy people 2 -49 years of age who are not pregnant.
Flu Shots are Available
When: Beginning on October 12,2010
Between the Hours of: 9am-12am and 2pm-4pm
Where:LoGrasso Hall Health Center
Cost: $10.00 Students and $20.00 Faculty/Staff
**Fred Debit Card Only**
When to get vaccinated?
Yearly flu vaccinations should begin in September or as soon as the vaccine is available and continue throughout the influenza season, into December, January and beyond. This is because the timing and duration of influenza seasons vary. While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or later.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
Everyone six months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu as soon as the 2010-2011 season's vaccine is available.
While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:
Who Should NOT Be Vaccinated?
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. These include:
What Side Effects Should I Expect From the Vaccine?
There are different side effects which can be associated with the flu shot vs. LAIV.
The "flu shot", composed of inactivated viruses, come with the possibilty of the following minor side effects:
If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who recieve the influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it.
The "nasal spray flu vaccine" (also called LAIV or FluMist) are weakened viruses and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness.
In Children, side effects from LAIV can include:
In adults, side effects from LAIV can include:
What else can be done to prevent the spread of flu?
Take everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs.
Hand washing: A simple way to prevent infection
Did you know?
Hand washing is a simple habit - one that requires minimal training and no special equipment. Yet, it's one of the best ways to avoid getting sick. This simple habit requires only soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer -- a cleanser that doesn't require water.
When should you wash your hands?
More than 40 million students in the United States carry backpacks. According to one study by the American Occupational Therapy Association, six out of ten students ages 9 to 20 reported chronic back pain related to backpacks. Here are some tips to avoid backpack -related health problems:
1. Never carry more then 15% of you body weight in your backpack. This means that someone who weighs 100 pounds should not wear a backpack heavier than 15 pounds.
2. Load the heaviest items closet to your back and arrange books and materials to prevent them from sliding.
3. Always wear both shoulder straps. Wearing only one strap can cause you to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort.
4. Select a pack with well-padded shoulder straps. Too much pressure on the shoulders and neck can cause pain and tingling.
5. Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly to your back. The bottom of the pack should rest in the curve of the lower back, never more than four inches below the waistline.
6. Use the waist belt. This will help distribute the pack's weight more evenly.
7. If you are experiencing back pain or neck soreness, consult your physician or occupational therapist.
By DJ Schier
As college students, we have all been thrown into situations where, when it comes down to it, we don't get enough sleep. You had a paper that you were finishing until 5 in the morning, and had a class at 8 to rush to. You may have decided that, instead of styaing in and catching some sleep, you wanted to go out to a party with friends and not come home until 3 in the morning. Or maybe you are feeling stressed about school, a relationship, somehting going on back home. It is more common than you think, but the lack of sleep does catch up to you.
In a recent poll done at Fredonia, when asked about what their biggest problem at school is, a majority said that not getting enough sleep was their biggest for that they had to worry about. We know we should have better time management skills and prioritize everything we do to include sleep, but with workloads that students have along with healthy social lives, sleep does fall at the bottom of the list. Common things like stress and anxiety are culprits in this case, too. Worrying about that project that is due in tow days, or why your significant other and friends feel more distant. All of these things affect your sleeping patterns.
So what happens to someone who is only running on a few hours of sleep each night? The biggest problem of all shouldn't be too hard to believe. Classes are being missed. The reason students are here, contrary to what others may believe , is to get an education at SUNY Fredonia. Sleep deprivation and lack of sleep is getting in the way of classes, and students need to take a proactive approach to help get themselves into a healthy sleeping pattern.
Students live a fast paced lifestyle, and sometimes sleep doesn't seem like a priority, but it should. Student who are getting the fully recommended hours of sleep are more energized, on top of their game, and over all, happier. Students who aren't on the other hand, are having a negative effect on themselves. Our bodies and minds need sleep to rejuvenate themselves and prepare for the next day. When you don't get the sleep you need, you are prone to be more sluggish, irritable, have less energy and drive, and your day feels like it will be dragging on forever. This is because of sleep debt, where your body is slowing realizing how many hours of sleep it needs to get back to where it was, and will try to make you go to sleep to catch up on these debited hours of sleep. According to www.sleepnet.com , if you loose one hour of sleep a night for five days, your body needs five extra hours of sleep to catch up. Typically, college students use Saturday and Sunday to catch up on this, but if they are running themselves down more and more, it could leak into the weekdays, keeping students from class.
So what can you do to avoid problems that come with sleeping? For starters, don't oversleep. Giving your body too much sleep is actually not a very good thing and can disrupt sleeping patterns. Another suggestion would be to work on your time management skills. Fall into a pattern where you have a designated sleep pattern throughout the week to keep you well rested. The LoGrasso Health Center and Counseling Services are also available for anyone who wants to talk to someone about anxieties and stresses in their life that may be disrupting their sleep patterns.
All in all, it would be a safe bet to say that working out a better sleeping pattern will help you out overall. The more healthy sleep you are getting, the more rested you will feel, and that will carry into your everyday life and be reflected in how you act.
Everyone has been there, the sneezing, the scratchy throat, the runny nose. Yes, you've got it, a COLD. There are over 200 virus strains known to cause the common cold. A cold can spread like wildfire in close quarters such as classrooms and college dormitories. Spread by droplets from the nose and mouth of infected persons, the average college student will experience cold like symptoms 2-4 times each year.
Question: Can I catch a cold from being out in the cold?
This is a common myth. There is no evidence that you can get a cold from exposure to cold weather or from getting chilled or from being overheated.
Question: Can I catch a cold from have enlarged tonsils or adenoids?
There is no evidence that your chances of getting a cold are related to factors such as exercise, diet or enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
Question: When is the cold season?
In late August , early September, the rate of colds increases for a few weeks and then remains high until April, when it finally declines. At these times, the weather is cooler, people are more likely to be indoors, which increases the chances that viruses will spread from one person to another.. Most cold causing viruses survive better when the humidity is low during the colder months.
Question: How do I know that I have a cold?
There are many variations of the common cold. Most people will experience some combination of a runny nose, sneezing, stuffiness, sore throat , cough, and/or headache for 1-2 week period. A fever is usually low grade , but can climb to 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
Question: When should I go to the Health Center?
Most colds can be treated with over the counter products such as Tylenol, Sudafed or any of the many cold preparations out there. Colds can occasionally lead to bacterial infections of your middle ear, sinuses, or throat requiring treatment with antibiotics. If the fever persists, or if you experience significant swollen glands, severe sinus pain, or a cough that produces mucus then you should seek medical attention either with your primary physician or at the college Health Center.
Question: How can I treat my cold?
1) Resting in bed.
2) Drinking plenty of fluids
3) Gargling with warm salt water or using throat sprays or lozenges for a sore throat
4) Taking aspirin or Tylenol for the low grade fever, headache and general malaise.
5) Taking a cough medicine with an expectorant to loosen the secretions and make it easier to cough.
6) Taking a decongestant to reduce the swelling in the nasal mucosa, promote drainage and reduce airflow resistance.
7) Discontinue all tobacco and alcohol use. Both can make the symptoms of a cold worse.
Breast Cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in this country. Each year, more than 211,000 women and 1,700 men in the United States learn that they have Breast Cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2008, it is estimated that 182,460 females and 1990 males will be diagnosed with Breast Cancer, and 40,480 women and 450 men will die from breast cancer.
Research from the National Academy of Sciences concludes that lifestyle and diet is responsible for up to 60% of cancers in women. A strong link suggests that a lower estrogen level reduces the risk for developing breast cancer. It appears that estrogen, a natural female hormone, induces and promotes mammary (breast) tumors. This happens when too much fat in the diet upsets the estrogen balance in women. Also, women who have several close maternal relatives (ie., grandmother, mother, aunt, sister) who develop breast cancer before menopause, the risk may be as high as 50%.
The best prevention is eating a low fat, high fiber diet, limiting or avoiding alcohol, not smoking, and exercising regularly. Not only does the dietary regime reduce the risk of breast cancer but it may help prevent many other types of cancer.
The most common sign of breast cancer is a lump or thickening in the breast. Other signs include swelling, puckering or dimpling of the skin, or redness or soreness in the skin. The nipple may become drawn into the chest, change shape, become crusty or emit a discharge. Some early breast cancers are painless. Any pain or tenderness that lasts throughout the 28 day menstrual cycle should be reported to your physician.
Mammography, as a diagnostic tool, remains a woman's best defense against breast cancer. A mammogram can find a breast lump when they are extremely small, too small in many cases to be detected in a physical exam. There is a 97% cure rate in early diagnosis where the cancer has not spread. Remember 4 out of 5 lumps are benign and not cancerous. According to the American Cancer Society, a woman should have her first (baseline) mammogram between the ages of 35 and 39. Then one should be done every one to two years between the ages of 40 and 50 and annually thereafter.
Cancer is a multistage process. Ones best defense is to block the process throughout your lifetime with a healthy lifestyle.
Self breast exams are the simplest, the least time consuming and the first line for women to detect abnormalities in their breast. Monthly self breast exams performed 7 to 10 days after the start of the menstrual cycle, can familiarize the woman with her own breasts and make it easier to detect any abnormalities.
1. You can do a portion of the exam while you are in the shower. Incorporating it into a normal activity can make it easier to do, and less of a time constraint. Remember to mark your calendar every month as a reminder.
2. Do the self breast exam every month at the same time. Menstruating women should perform it a few days after their period. Women taking oral contraceptives should do the exam on the first day of starting a new pack of pills.
3. Report any changes to your physician, even if you feel it is minor.