The Student Health Center is dedicated to serving the unique healthcare needs of UWL & Western students.

Make an appointment - call 608.785.8558
Please inform the scheduler if you've traveled outside the U.S. in the past 2 months.

Hot topics

Influenza/Flu expanding section

5 Ways to Avoid Colds and the Flu

You don't want to spend this winter battling a runny nose, a nagging cough, or a fever. But colds and flu come with the season, right?

They don't have to. Try this advice from the CDC.

Get a flu shot

The best time to get the flu vaccine is when it becomes available in your community, but getting the vaccine later is better than not getting it at all.  The CDC recommends an annual flu shot for everyone age 6 months and older. Two things to remember: Flu shots don't cause the flu, and getting a flu shot won't protect you against the common cold.

Wash your hands

Wash your hands often. The viruses that cause colds and seasonal flu are spread by droplets, usually when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The virus is airborne and enters your body through your nose or mouth, or from your hands after you have touched an object contaminated with the virus. For instance, if you share a phone or a computer keyboard, or touch public door handles, and put your hands near your face, the virus could enter your mouth or nose. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water is best for cleaning cold viruses off your hands. If you don't have access to soap and water, carry an alcohol-based hand cleaner with you.

Use tissues, then toss them

Don't stuff used tissues back in your pocket. Throw them away.

Avoid contact

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home if you are sick to prevent spreading your illness. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.

Practice good health habits

The CDC recommends that you follow general recommendations to stay healthy. These suggestions include: get plenty of sleep; be physically active; manage your stress; drink plenty of fluids; and eat nutritious food.

 

Influenza vaccine is available at the Student Health Center for $20 (charged to your student account).  Call 785-8558 to make an appointment to get your Influenza vaccine!

 

More information about Influenza and prevention:

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/influenza/prevention.htm

https://www.nfid.org/infectious-diseases/facts-about-influenza-for-adults/

Meningitis expanding section

A UWL student was recently diagnosed with Meningitis B, received treatment at a medical center, and has recovered. This was an isolated incident. Close contacts of the student have already been identified and treated with antibiotics and vaccination as needed. The La Crosse County Health Department has found no additional cases of suspected Meningitis B.

Meningococcal disease is caused by the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria and can cause a blood infection or meningitis (a swelling of the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord). These illnesses are severe and can be deadly. College students are at increased risk for meningitis given close living quarters.  Outbreaks of Meningitis B have been seen at other universities.

Meningitis Risk Factors

  • Meningitis is spread by contact with saliva. It is not spread through the air or by casual contact
  • You can help prevent infection by not kissing, sharing drinks, utensils, plates or cigarettes/vapes
  • Weak immune system

Meningitis Symptoms

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Vomiting
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion
  • Purple or pinpoint rash

We recommend immediate evaluation in a health care facility for these or other concerning symptoms.

We encourage prevention, which includes vaccines for Meningitis.

Meningitis prevention requires 2 separate vaccines

1.      Meningitis A,C,Y,W (Menactra, Menveo, Menomune)

  • Vaccination starts at age 11 with a booster dose after age 16
  • If the first dose is given after age 16, then only 1 dose is needed

2.      Meningitis B (Bexsero or Trumenba)

  • Recommended between ages 16-23 years
  • 2 vaccines doses are needed with either Bexsero or Trumenba (a 3rd dose is needed for patients at increased risk for meningococcal disease)
  • The vaccines are not interchangeable

Both types of Meningitis vaccine are available at the Student Health Center, with your primary care provider, or at local pharmacies.

  • Cost at the Student Health Center: Menveo (ACYW) $105 Trumenba (B) $120 Bexsero (B) $145
  • If you receive the vaccines through your primary care provider or the pharmacy, then this cost can potentially be billed through your health insurance
  • If you have concerns regarding cost or which vaccines you need, please call the Student Health Center (608) 785-8558

For detailed information and further recommendations on Meningitis please visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/index.html

Students should contact the Student Health Center directly with any questions or to make an appointment to review your vaccination status at (608) 785-8558.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases expanding section

Information about Sexually Transmitted Infections

 Did you know?-->  In La Crosse County, Chlamydia rates continue to be high every year.  Gonorrhea and Syphillis rates have risen dramatically over the last two years.  Here are links to information about STI's and prevention:

 More information:

 American Sexual Health Association

 Centers for Disease Control 

 Planned Parenthood