UHS's Public Health department provides information, preventive services and monitoring for communicable illnesses that can impact the campus community and beyond. These include:
Flu | Mumps | Meningococcal Disease | Mononucleosis | Measles | Zika
Flu vaccine is now required for all Massachusetts students. UMass Amherst students, faculty and staff can get vaccinated by appointment at UHS, or during a scheduled visit, Monday-Friday. Call 413-577-5101. Costs are billed to your health insurance; bring your insurance ID card with you. In the coming weeks, students will also be able to schedule their flu shot at the Mullins Center; details coming soon.
More About the Massachusetts Flu Vaccine Requirement: For older students, the flu vaccine requirement applies to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students under 30 years of age and all full- and part-time health science students. The requirement includes individuals from outside the U.S. attending or visiting classes or educational programs in Massachusetts as part of an academic visitation or exchange program. The only exception is for college and university students who exclusively attend classes online and never visit campus in person. College students who attend any classes or activities on campus, even once, must be vaccinated by December 31. Learn more at Mass.gov.
Learn more about flu, ways to stay healthy, and what to do if you're sick on the CDC website.
Meningococcal illnesses can be caused by a bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis. The germ can sometimes cause meningitis, an infection of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord; or sepsis, an infection of the blood. These illnesses are often severe, and may be deadly.
The bacteria typically spreads through close personal contact such as coughing, sharing drinks and kissing. Casual contact, or simply breathing the air where an ill person has been, does not spread the bacteria.
The most common symptoms include fever, headache and stiff neck. There are often additional symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity and confusion, or other altered mental status. See a healthcare provider immediately if you think you may have symptoms of meningococcal disease.
UHS offers meningitis B vaccinations at scheduled walk-in clincs and by appointment at the health center; call 413-577-5101. Costs are billed to your health insurance; bring your insurance plan's ID card with you. Expenses for meningitis B vaccination not covered by insurance will be covered by the university.
Get more information about meningococcal illness on the CDC website.
Mumps is a contagious illness caused by a virus that lives in the mouth, throat and nose.
Symptoms can include swollen cheeks and jaw, fever, headache, stiff neck and loss of appetite. These can appear 12 - 25 days after contact with an infected person. If you have any symptoms that suggest mumps, avoid public activities and call the UHS Triage Advice Nurse, 413-577-5229.
Most young adults and children have had two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. Vaccination prevents many, but not all, cases of mumps. If you're not sure whether you've been vaccinated, contact your primary care provider.
Get more information from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Mononucleosis (or "mono") is a contagious viral disease common among teens and young adults. It spreads most commonly through contact with bodily fluids, including saliva, blood and semen.
Symptoms typically appear four to six weeks after you've been infected, and include extreme fatigue, fever, sore throat, head and body aches, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and armpits, swollen liver or spleen or both, and rash.
Get more information on the CDC website.
Measles is caused by a virus that spreads easily from person to person. At first, it looks and feels like a cold or flu. A cough, high fever, runny nose, and red, watery eyes are common. A few days later, a red, blotchy rash starts on the face, then spreads to the rest of the body. It usually lasts a week or two.
Learn more with this fact sheet from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
UHS advises travelers to be aware of Zika virus and take appropriate precautions.