Influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone six months of age and older, and is especially important for infants, young children, pregnant women, adults over 50, and for those with chronic medical conditions. Flu vaccines protect against three viruses which commonly cause disease each year: influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2), and influenza B viruses. While there have been reports nationally of influenza H3N2 strains causing illness that are drifted from the vaccine strain, this is just one of multiple influenza viruses seen so far this season. In situations when there is an imperfect match to one virus, vaccination provides protection against other strains which may be circulating.
In addition to getting vaccinated, it’s important to practice good hand washing and other good health habits. People who are ill should take actions to stop the spread of germs:
• Stay home if you are sick
• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
• Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
For more information about seasonal influenza please visit the Health Care Agency’s website www.ochealthinfo.com/flu or the Centers for Disease Control website www.cdc.gov/flu
Currently there are no suspected or confirmed outbreaks in Orange County or in the communities surrounding Saddleback College. In the event a concern arises Saddleback College and the Student Health Center are prepared and have a plan in place.
In 2014, Orange County ranked twelfth in the State based on TB case rate and had the third highest number of TB cases in California behind Los Angeles and San Diego Counties. Orange County reported 187 cases of tuberculosis (TB) in 2014, the lowest number recorded in more than thirty years. This represents a 22.7% decrease since 2005 when a 10-year high of 242 cases were reported and a 56.5% decrease from a high of 430 cases reported in 1993. The TB case rate for 2014 was 6.0 cases for every 100,000 Orange County residents. This compares to a rate of 5.6 and 3.0 cases per 100,000 population for California and the United States (U.S.), respectively. TB rates in California decreased 1.8%, while the Orange County and U.S. TB rates remained unchanged as compared to 2013.
A person with TB infection will have no symptoms. A person with TB disease may have any, all or none of the following symptoms:
- A cough that will not go away
- Feeling tired all the time
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Coughing up blood
- Night sweats
As of January 16th Orange County now has sixteen confirmed cases of measles. Ten of the reported measles cases in Orange County, along with others throughout California and in other states, are connected to visiting Disneyland or Disneyland California Adventure Park in December. The source of the infection for the six most recent cases is not known; they were not exposed at Disneyland and had no known contact to any of the confirmed Disney-associated cases.
The identification of six measles cases with acquisition from unknown community contacts indicates exposure to measles is more widespread throughout the county. The Health Care Agency expects that the measles outbreak will continue to spread, so all should be aware of the signs and symptoms of measles. Health officials remind the public that the best way to prevent the measles is by getting vaccinated.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. Children too young to be immunized, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk for severe illness. Measles spreads very easily by air and by direct contact with an infected person. People are contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. Anyone suspecting they have measles should CALL their medical provider BEFORE arriving at the medical office to avoid exposing others to the measles virus.
Protect Yourself and Family from Measles:
- Children should receive their first MMR vaccine at 12-15 months of age. The second dose of MMR is given at 4 to 6 years of age before going to school.
- Vaccinating children, adolescents and adults is the best way to protect infants who are too young to receive the MMR vaccine.
- Vaccinations are very safe. The benefits far outweigh any risks. Side effects are usually mild, such as soreness where the shot was given.
- Measles is found in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Vaccination before traveling is recommended.
- Measles vaccine is widely available in the community, and free and low-cost vaccinations are available. A complete list is available at www.ochealthinfo.com
To learn more about measles, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Immunization Resources and Information
If you are ineligable for the student health center or the Student Health Center does not provide the immunization(s) you need or you would like information regarding specific immunization click the link below or open the PDF to find a list of local resources and information on immunizations.