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Sick at School?

College is a time of incredible opportunities. It offers new experiences and exciting challenges. Unfortunately, its communal environment can also be a breeding ground for contagious viruses and bacteria. Most of these illnesses are easily avoidable and treatable if you know what to look for. If you are feeling under the weather and aren’t sure why, or if you want to make sure you don’t catch any bugs this semester, take a look at our quickie diagnoses chart below. And don’t forget, the wonderful staff at the Health Center is always available to answer questions or set up an appointment. The Health Center can be reached at 5955 from a campus phone or 610-341-5955 from a cellphone.

Strep Throat

Where you got it: Sharing your friend’s Slurpee last week.

How you know you have it: Your throat is sore with white splotches on the back. You have swollen tonsils and a fever.

How to get rid of it:

Antibiotics from your doctor and Tylenol for the fever.

How to avoid it in the first place: Wash your hands and don’t share food or personal items with sick friends.

Influenza

Where you got it: Using a keyboard someone sneezed on.

How you know you have it: You have a fever of over 100 degrees, aches, chills and sweats.

How to get rid of it: Plenty of bed rest and fluids. If severe, medication from your doctor.

How to avoid it in the first place: Always wash your hands before eating. Vaccinations are also available.

Pink Eye

Where you got it? Girls: Sharing your friend’s mascara. Guys: Sleeping on that dirty pillow you picked up off the floor.

How you know you have it: You have a red/itchy/tearing eye.

How to get rid of it? Bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics. Viral infections need to run their course.

How to avoid it in the first place? Don’t share eye cosmetics, or use dirty towels or linens.

Staph Infection

Where you got it? Borrowing your sister’s sneakers which were carrying the bacteria.

How you know you have it? You have sores or boils that will not heal and a fever.

How to get rid of it? Antibiotics are usually prescribed. Surgery may be required.

How to avoid it in the first place? Wash hands frequently and avoid sharing personal items such as clothing , towels and linens.

Mononucleosis

Where you got it? Sharing a soda with your friend who had mono six months ago!

How you know you have it? You have a sore throat, swollen glands, fatigue and head/muscle aches.

How to get rid of it? Rest, fluids and vitamins. Avoid activity that could injure your spleen or liver which become enlarged. How to avoid it in the first place? Avoid sharing food/drinks with anyone, especially those exhibiting symptoms.

 

Information compiled from www.mayoclinic.com by Emilie Eastman

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