Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningitis, and Measles

Hepatitis A

What is it?
Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV) that causes an inflammation of the liver.

How is it spread?
Hepatitis A virus is spread from person to person through anal/oral contact, by putting something in your mouth that has been contaminated with infected feces (stool) and fecal contamination of food and water. Food handlers who may be infected can pass the virus on if they do not wash their hands with soap and water after having a bowel movement. Most transmissions result from contact with a household member or sexual partner who has HAV. Casual contact, as in the office, factory or school setting does not spread the virus.

Is there a treatment?
There is not a specific treatment for Hepatitis A. However, the infection will clear up in a few weeks to months with no serious after effects.

Prevention:
Immune Globulin (IG) is a safe and effective intramuscular injection that can provide a temporary immunity to the virus for two or three months if given prior exposure to HAV or within two week after exposure.

Is the Hepatitis A vaccine safe?
Yes, the Hepatitis A vaccine has an excellent safety record. No serious adverse reactions have been attributed to the Hepatitis A vaccine; however soreness at the injection site is very common.

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Hepatitis B

What is it?
Hepatitis B is an inflammatory liver diseased caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) that results in liver cell damage, which can lead to scaring of the liver (cirrhosis) and cancer.

How is it spread?
HBV is transmitted through body fluids containing HBV, such as blood, semen, and vaginal secretions (menses) that are transported through contaminated drug needles, tattooing, body piercing, sexual contact, or a human bite.

Is there treatment?
Anti-viral medication has a varying success rate.

Prevention:
There are safe and effective vaccines for Hepatitis B involving three doses: an initial injection, a second injection one month later, and a final dose five months later.

Is the Hepatitis B vaccine safe?
Yes. Soreness, swelling and redness at the site of injection are the most common side effects.

Student Health Services has access to Hepatitis A & B vaccinations. Students will be charged for the cost of the vaccine.

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Meningitis

What is it?
Meningitis is an infection that can lead to a dangerous swelling of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The disease can be caused by either viruses or bacteria.

Viral Meningitis is the most common form of the disease and is not usually as serious as bacterial meningitis, allowing patients typically to recover with minimal treatment.

Bacterial Meningitis is often referred to as meningococcal meningitis. Because it can be easily spread, meningococcal meningitis can cause outbreaks in a specific area, such as a college campus. Infection can cause serious illness, long-lasting effects on the nervous system or death within 24 to 48 hours.

How is it spread?
Meningitis can strike at any age; however, certain groups have a greater risk for contracting the disease:

  • college students who live in campus residence halls
  • anyone in close contact with a known case
  • direct contact also occurs with shared items such as cigarettes, drinking glasses, or through intimate contact such as kissing
  • anyone with an upper respiratory infection with a compromised immune system
  • anyone traveling to endemic areas of the world where meningitis is prevalent

Is there a treatment?
Yes, if test results are positive, antibiotics are normally used as treatment.

Prevention:
The meningococcal vaccine protects against the most common forms of Bacterial Meningitis that cause outbreaks.

Is the Meningitis vaccine safe?
Yes, the Meningitis vaccine is generally safe and effective. However, some reactions (e.g. soreness or redness at the injection site, mild fever) can happen with all vaccines. No vaccine protects 100% of all susceptible individuals.

(LB513) requires detailed information on meningitis vaccination for first-year students and parents.

Because of the number of students living in on-campus housing, Nebraska Wesleyan will require beginning with students enrolling in the 2005-2006 academic year, meningococcal (meningitis) immunization, prior to Lincoln enrollment.

Vaccinations against Hepatitis A, B and Meningitis are relatively inexpensive. Check with your family physician, local public health clinics or student health services if you have questions. Also, check your health insurance policy as it may cost the cost of pre-college immunizations.

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Measles (Rubeola)

Since the measles epidemic in Nebraska in 1989, Nebraska Wesleyan University has taken the following steps to prevent future epidemics by having students show evidence of their immunity to measles (Rubeola).

Submit to the Student Health Services two separate immunization dates (month and year) for measles (Rubeola). This immunization may also be referred to as an “MMR” or “MR” on your health record.

If you have questions regarding the measles requirement, call Julie at 402.462.2154 or the Student Health Services (after the week of August 15) at 402.465.2375.

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Location:
First floor Pioneer Hall South

Contact Us:
Nancy Newman, Director
Phone: 402.465.2375
Email: njn@nebrwesleyan.edu

Kim McLaughlin, Assistant Director
Phone: 402.465.2377
Email: kam@nebrwesleyan.edu

Registered Nurse Hours:
Monday–Friday
8 a.m.–12 p.m.
1 p.m.–5 p.m.

Physician Hours:
Monday & Friday
9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Tuesday & Thursday
2 p.m.–4:15 p.m.

Counselor Hours:
Monday–Friday
By appointment
Call 402.465.2224