You’ve probably heard about Zika virus on the news and may be worried about it, especially with so many students and faculty returning to campus soon after summer travels.
GET READY TO ACE YOUR SUMMER INTERNSHIP!
Prepare yourself to make a great impression in your summer internship, job, or research position. Career Development and the Dean of Juniors is hosting “Summer Success: Building a Professional Image” that will include tips and information to help students become an effective team member and make the most of your experience. Topics will include professional image, communication, networking, and use of social media.
Class of 2017,
Spaces are still available in theme houses and Woods Creek for those in search of housing for the 2016-2017 academic year. If interested, please contact Sarah Walker in Student Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know your preference for: (1) either a theme house or Woods Creek; and (2) room type (double/single).
Our hearts go out today to the victims of the terror attacks in Brussels, their families and the people of Belgium. While Washington and Lee does not have any students studying at programs based in Belgium, we will continue to monitor the situation and be in touch with our students abroad.
To: Members of the Washington and Lee Community
From: Jane T. Horton, M.D.
Subject: Case of Meningococcal Disease
A student at the University has recently been diagnosed with a case of meningococcal disease. The student developed illness symptoms while away from the campus during the February break and received the official diagnosis earlier this week. The student is recovering well and expects to be back on campus soon.
We have worked closely with the Central Shenandoah Health Department to identify any students who may have had close contact with the infected student up to 14 days prior to the onset of the illness. All of those individuals have now been notified and will be meeting with Student Health and Counseling representatives.
Unless you have been contacted by a representative of Student Health and Counseling, you do not need to be concerned or take any special precautions. Below is important information about this disease, including the symptoms. Should you have any concern, please contact the Student Health Center at 458-8401 or email email@example.com.
What is Meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease can refer to any illness that is caused by the type of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, also known as meningococcus. These illnesses are often severe and include infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) and bloodstream infections (bacteremia or septicemia). Meningococcus bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions like spit (e.g., by living in close quarters, kissing). Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics, but early recognition of illness and quick medical attention is extremely important. Keeping up to date with recommended vaccines is the best defense against meningococcal disease.
What are the symptoms of Meningococcal disease?
The clinical manifestations of meningococcal disease can be quite varied, and it may present with fever, chills, headache, body aches, stiff neck, easy bruising, abnormal bleeding, rash, and lightheadedness or dizziness. Symptoms may progress quite rapidly to cardiovascular shock and collapse.
What causes Meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. About 1 out of 10 people have this type of bacteria in the back of their nose and throat with no signs or symptoms of disease; this is called being ‘a carrier’. But sometimes Neisseria meningitidis bacteria can invade the body causing certain illnesses, which are known as meningococcal disease.
There are five serogroups (“strains”) of Neisseria meningitidis: A, B, C, W, and Y that cause most disease worldwide. Three of these serogroups (B, C, and Y) cause most of the illness seen in the United States.
Is Meningococcal disease contagious?
Meningococcal disease is spread from person to person. The bacteria are spread by exchanging respiratory and throat secretions (saliva or spit) during close (for example, coughing or kissing) or lengthy contact, especially if living in the same household. Fortunately, these bacteria are not as contagious as germs that cause the common cold or the flu. The bacteria are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningococcal disease has been.
Sometimes Neisseria meningitidis bacteria spread to people who have had close or lengthy contact with a patient with meningococcal disease. People living in the same household, roommates, or anyone with direct contact with a patient’s oral secretions, such as a boyfriend or girlfriend, would be considered at increased risk of getting the infection if they had close contact within 7-14 days of the onset of illness. This does NOT include people whose only contact is living on the same hall in a dormitory, being in the same classroom, eating together (unless utensils or cups are shared), or other casual or brief contact.
People who qualify as close contacts of a person with meningococcal disease should receive antibiotics to prevent them from getting the disease, administered within 14 days after possible exposure. This is known as prophylaxis. The health department investigates each case of meningococcal disease to make sure all close contacts are identified and receive prophylaxis. This does not mean that the contacts have the disease; it is to prevent it. People who are not a close contact of a patient with meningococcal disease do not require prophylaxis.
How is Meningococcal disease prevented?
To reduce the risk of acquiring the meningococcal bacteria you should avoid sharing food and drink, lip balm or other contact with oral secretions such as kissing. Wash hands frequently, especially before eating or touching face and lips. Support your immune system with plenty of sleep (7-9 hours each night) and a healthy lifestyle re: diet and exercise. Do not smoke or use e-cigarettes, and don’t share these products with others. Encourage others to cover a cough and stay home and seek medical attention if they are sick and running a fever.
Vaccines are now available that help protect against all three serogroups (B, C, and Y) of meningococcal disease that are commonly seen in the United States:
Meningococcal conjugate vaccines (Menactra®, Menveo®, and MenHibrix®) and Meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune®) protect against strains A, C, W and Y. This vaccine is required for incoming first year students at Washington and Lee University, unless a waiver is completed.
Serogroup B meningococcal vaccines (Bexsero® and Trumenba®) were recently released and the U.S. federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that adolescents and young adults aged 16-23 years may be vaccinated with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine to provide short –term protection against most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease. Washington and Lee University will recommend this vaccine for incoming students beginning in 2016, but does not require it. It is available in Lexington through the local office of the Virginia Department of Health.
Serogroup B has been associated with several outbreaks of meningococcal disease on college and university campuses since 2009 (2 or more cases with the same strain occurring in a defined population in a short period of time). The overall incidence of meningococcal disease has been falling, though, and despite these outbreaks on campuses, from 2009-2013 the estimated incidence of serogroup B meningococcal disease in college students aged 18-23 years (0.09 per 100,000) was similar to or lower than all persons of the same age (0.14 per 100,000) or non-college students of the same age (0.21 per 100,000). Immunization has been useful to end such outbreaks on college and university campuses.
Who should be concerned about being exposed in this situation?
Again, the vast majority of people at the university do not need to be concerned or take any special precautions. We have worked to identify students and others in the community who had close or prolonged contact with the ill student up to 14 days prior to the illness onset, and have offered preventive antibiotics to those individuals.
For all others persons, including those who had casual contact as would occur in most school-related activities, the risk of infection is extraordinarily low and approaches that in the population at large (one case/100,000 population/year). For those with casual contact, preventive antibiotics are not indicated and not advised.
Dear Members of the Washington and Lee Community,
Early this morning we discovered an act of vandalism at the Sustainability House on East Nelson Street. The vandalism consisted of spray-painted graffiti on three doors of the house and on four student cars nearby. The graffiti included anti-gay sentiments directed at an individual student.
The Office of Public Safety and the Lexington Police Department were notified and conducted an investigation that led to the identification of a student suspect earlier this afternoon. We understand that charges are pending at this time. In addition, it is our understanding that this was an isolated act carried out by one individual.
In addition to expressing our gratitude to our Public Safety officers and the LPD for their work on this matter, I also want to thank all of the students who came forward to assist in the investigation and to express their concern for this disrespectful, irresponsible act.
I encourage all members of the Washington and Lee community to use this occasion to rededicate ourselves to those values that have always defined us — especially the moral obligation to treat everyone with respect at all times and under all conditions. We must never condone intolerance.
Students, staff and faculty will gather at 5 p.m. today in the Commons Living Room to show support and solidarity.
Sidney Springfield Evans
Vice-President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Zika Virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Learn the key facts to prevent Zika infection.
Come out and support the men’s basketball team as they take on Emory and Henry, Tuesday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m.
Free pizza, soft drinks for the Class of 2017 + the chance to win prizes such as a Fancy Dress package
The Student Affairs Committee and University Faculty have adopted changes to University policy regarding DUIs. Also, the University has decided to prohibit the use, possession or storage of self-balancing electronic skateboards, including self-balancing boards, scooters, and other similar equipment more popularly known as hoverboards, due to safety concerns.
The Kemper Scholars Program – Open to W&L First-Years, provides a $3,000-10,000 a year scholarship, a post-sophomore summer experience in Chicago with $6,900 summer stipend, a paid post-junior year internship and three years of attendance at the Kemper Scholars Conference. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is January 15, 2016. Learn more at LexLink Job ID 3519.