Health Center

The University of Mississippi

Services

Acute Care

The SHS will treat acute illness and minor injuries. Referrals will be made to specialists as needed. Students are responsible for bills incurred as a result of referral outside of SHS.

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Allergy Clinic

Student Health Services will administer allergy medication under the direction of your allergist or physician. Medication can be brought to SHS or mailed directly from your physician’s office to: V.B. Harrison Student Health Center, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677.

A nominal fee will be charged for administration. Students receiving allergy injections must plan to remain in the clinic for 20 minutes after the injection. SHS is unable to continue providing allergy injections for students who do not observe this 20-minute requirement.

SHS does not perform allergy testing.

Students must receive their first allergy injection in physician’s office.

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Immunizations

Recommended Immunizations

Meningococcal

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends meningococcal vaccination for all incoming college freshmen. College freshmen who live in dormitories are at higher risk for meningococcal disease compared with other people of the same age. Because of the feasibility constraints in targeting freshmen in dormitories, colleges may elect to target their vaccination campaigns to all matriculating freshmen. The risk for meningococcal disease among nonfreshman college students is similar to that for the general population of similar age (18-24 years). However, the vaccines are safe and immunogenic and therefore can be provided to nonfreshman college students who want to reduce their risk for meningococcal disease.*

*Source: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-mening.pdf

Hepatitis B (recommended, not required)

Age indicated

Series of three doses (given at 0,1-2 months, and 6-12 months) prior to college entry. A series of two adult doses may be given to adolescents 11-15 years of age (given at 0 and 4-6 months). Combined hepatitis A and B vaccines may be given as a series of three doses (given at 0, 1-2 months, and 6-12 months).

For more information: www.cdc.gov/nip/publications/VIS/vis-hep-b.txt

Hepatitis A

Major indications

Recommended for routine use in adolescents through the age of 18 in some states and regions and for certain high-risk groups (for example, persons traveling to countries where hepatitis A is moderately or highly endemic, men who have sex with men, users of injectable and noninjectable drugs, persons who have clotting-factor disorders, persons working with nonhuman primates and persons with chronic liver disease).

For more information: www.immunize.org/catg.d/2190hepa.pdf

Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis

Age indicated

Primary series in childhood with DTaP or DTP, booster at age 11-12 years with TdaP if at least five years has elapsed since the last dose of tetanus and diphtheria toxoid-containing vaccine, then every 10 years.

Polio Vaccine

Age indicated

Primary series in childhood with IPV alone, OPV alone or IPV/OPV sequentially; booster only if needed for travel after age 18 years.

Varicella (Chicken Pox) Not Required

Major indications

All entering college students without history of the disease or without age-appropriate immunization or with a negative antibody titer.

Major precautions

Pregnancy, history of hypersensitivity or anaphylaxis to any of the components in the vaccine. Guidelines exist for vaccination of persons with altered immuno competence.
For more information: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-varicella.pdf

Influenza

Major indications

College students at high risk of complications from the flu such as diabetics or asthmatics or patients with certain immunodeficiencies, and any student who wants to minimize disruption of routine activities during epidemics. Health sciences students with patient contact.

For more information: www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm

Human Papilloma Virus

Gardasil is the vaccine that is now available for the prevention of some of the human papilloma viruses. It consists of a series of three injections administered over a six-month period. It is recommended for females ages 9 to 26.
For more information: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr56e312a1.htm

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Men’s Health

Student Health Services provides the following services for men. All services are completely confidential, and no appointment is required but are encouraged.

  • Sports and outdoor medicine
  • Health education and counseling related specifically to men’s issues
  • Sexually transmitted disease testing, counseling, treatment and education

Human Papilloma virus (HPV)

Symptoms, Transmission, Testing, Treatment, HPV and Other Cancers,

What is HPV?

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a virus that affects the skin in the genital area, as well as a female’s cervix. Depending on the type of HPV, symptoms can be in the form of wartlike growths or abnormal cell changes. HPV is considered the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the US.

Symptoms

There are many different types of genital HPV; some cause genital warts and some cause abnormal cell changes in a woman’s cervix

Genital Warts

The types of HPV that cause raised external genital warts are not linked with cancer. These are called “low-risk” types. The genital warts appear as growths or bumps, and may be raised or flat, single or multiple, small or large. They tend to be flesh-colored or whitish in appearance. Warts usually do not cause itching or burning. The warts will not disappear on their own and may continue to grow if left untreated.

Sometimes genital warts are so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, a person may not even know she or he has HPV and genital warts.

Some people only have one episode of warts, while others have recurrences. When warts are present, the virus is considered active. When warts are gone, the virus remains latent in the skin cells and may or may not be contagious at this time. Warts may appear within several weeks after sexual contact with someone who has a wart-type of HPV, or it may take several months or years to appear. This makes it hard to know exactly when or from whom someone got the virus.

Transmission of HPV

HPV, regardless of the type, is usually spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal or (rarely) oral sex with someone who has this infection. Genital warts are most likely to be transmitted when symptoms (warts) are actually present, but sometimes warts are too small to see with the naked eye. Warts are not commonly found in the mouth, so some experts believe that transmission through oral sex is not likely.

The types of HPV that cause genital warts do not usually cause warts on other body parts such as the hands. Warts on other parts of the body are caused by different types of HPV. People do not get genital warts by touching warts on their hands or feet.

Testing

Testing for Warts

It can be hard to tell the difference between a wart and normal bumps on the genital area. If you have any bumps or growths, visit the Student Health Center and have the area examined by a clinician.

To look for warts or other abnormal tissue, the clinician may put acetic acid (vinegar) on the genitals. This causes warts to turn white and makes them easier to see, especially if they are viewed through a magnifying lens.

Treatment

HPV is a virus, and there is currently no cure. However, there are several treatment options available for both genital warts and cervical changes. The goal of treatment should be to remove visible genital warts or the abnormal cells. No one treatment is best for all cases. When choosing what treatment to use, the clinician will consider the type of HPV; patient preference; cost of treatment; convenience; size, location and number of warts; changes in the warts; location of abnormal cells; results of the pap smear; colposcopy; biopsy and HPV test; adverse effects; and their own experience with the treatments.

Genital Warts 

  • Cryotherapy (freezing off the wart with liquid nitrogen). This can be relatively inexpensive and must be done by a trained clinician.
  • TCA (trichloracetic acid). This chemical is applied to the surface of the wart.
  • Surgical removal. This has the advantage of getting rid of warts in a single office visit.
  • Electrocautery (burning off warts with an electrical current).
  • Laser therapy (using an intense light to destroy warts). This is used for larger or extensive warts, especially those that have not responded well to other treatments. Laser therapy can also be very expensive.
  • At-home prescription creams. These creams are self-applied, safe and easy to use.

HPV and Other Cancers

Anal cancer is a rare occurrence that has been strongly linked to high-risk types of HPV. Abnormal cell changes in the anal area are more common among individuals who engage in receiving anal sex. Abnormal changes in the anus have also been reported in some females who have a history of severe cervical changes. Treatment is available for anal cell changes and anal cancer.

Penile cancer is extremely rare in the U.S., and HPV is not always the cause. There are some cases of cell changes on the penis that are caused by high-risk types of HPV, but most males do not ever experience symptoms or health risks if they get one or more high-risk types of HPV.

HPV has been linked with some, but not all, cases of cell changes in the vagina and with vaginal cancers. Similarly, HPV has been linked with some, but not all, cases of cell changes on the vulva (outside female genital area) and with vulvar cancers. Treatment options are available for both vaginal or vulvar cell changes, depending on how mild or severe the cell changes are in this area.

Prevention

Any person who is sexually active may come in contact with this common virus. Ways to reduce your risk include not having sex with anyone or having sex only with one partner who has sex only with you. People who have many sex partners are at higher risk of getting other STIs.

If someone has visible symptoms of genital warts, he or she should not have sexual activity until the warts are removed. This may help to lower the risk of giving the virus.

Condoms used correctly from start to finish for each act of sex may provide some protection. Because HPV is transmitted skin-to-skin, and condoms do not cover the entire genital region, it is still possible to transmit the virus.

Source: This information was adapted from the American Social Health Association’s Web site at www.ashastd.org.

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Women’s Health

The Women’s Health Clinic provides comprehensive health care addressing the needs and concerns of women. Services include

  • Routine annual gynecological exams and counseling (appointments required; call 915-7274)
  • Referrals to gynecologists when indicated for management of abnormal pap smears
  • Treatment for menstrual irregularity
  • Testing, treatment and information about genital infections and sexually transmitted diseases
  • Counseling on sexual activity and decision making for good health and wellness
  • Information on methods of birth control, and, when appropriate, prescriptions
  • Pregnancy testing, counseling and referrals
  • Gardasil (human papilloma virus/HPV) vaccine

Human Papilloma virus (HPV)

Symptoms, Transmission, Testing, Treatment, HPV and Other Cancers, Pregnancy and HPV Prevention, HPV Vaccine/Gardasil

What is HPV?

Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a virus that affects the skin in the genital area, as well as a female’s cervix. Depending on the type of HPV, symptoms can be in the form of wartlike growths or abnormal cell changes. HPV is considered the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the US.

Symptoms

There are many different types of genital HPV; some cause genital warts and some cause abnormal cell changes in a woman’s cervix

Genital Warts

The types of HPV that cause raised external genital warts are not linked with cancer. These are called “low-risk” types. The genital warts appear as growths or bumps, and may be raised or flat, single or multiple, small or large. They tend to be flesh-colored or whitish in appearance. Warts usually do not cause itching or burning. The warts will not disappear on their own and may continue to grow if left untreated.

Sometimes genital warts are so small that they can not be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, a person may not even know she or he has HPV and genital warts.

Some people only have one episode of warts, while others have recurrences. When warts are present, the virus is considered active. When warts are gone, the virus remains latent in the skin cells and may or may not be contagious at this time. Warts may appear within several weeks after sexual contact with someone who has a wart-type of HPV, or it may take several months or years to appear. This makes it hard to know exactly when or from whom someone got the virus.

Cervical Changes

Other types of HPV can cause abnormal cell changes on the genital skin, usually on a female’s cervix. These types of HPV are linked with cervical cancer and are usually called high-risk types. There are usually no symptoms for this type of HPV and women need to get regularly screened by a pap smear to detect these changes. Individuals can be exposed and have more than one type of HPV, including several high-risk types.

Most of the time, men will not have any symptoms or health risks with the high-risk types of HPV. While they do not have symptoms, men can be carriers and unknowingly transmit HPV to their sexual partners.

Transmission of HPV

HPV, regardless of the type, is usually spread by direct skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal or (rarely) oral sex with someone who has this infection. Genital warts are most likely to be transmitted when symptoms (warts) are actually present, but sometimes warts are too small to see with the naked eye. Warts are not commonly found in the mouth, so some experts believe that transmission through oral sex is not likely.

The types of HPV that cause genital warts do not usually cause warts on other body parts such as the hands. Warts on other parts of the body are caused by different types of HPV. People do not get genital warts by touching warts on their hands or feet.

Testing

Testing for Warts

It can be hard to tell the difference between a wart and normal bumps on the genital area. If you have any bumps or growths, visit the Student Health Center and have the area examined by a clinician.

To look for warts or other abnormal tissue, the clinician may put acetic acid (vinegar) on the genitals. This causes warts to turn white and makes them easier to see, especially if they are viewed through a magnifying lens.

Testing for Cervical Changes

Abnormal cervical changes on a female are detected through a pap smear. The pap test is a screening to find abnormal cell changes on the cervix before they become cancerous. During a pelvic exam, a small brush or cotton tipped applicator will be used to take a swab of cervical cells. These cells are then put in a container with liquid and sent to the laboratory for evaluation.

If the pap smear shows abnormal cells, an HPV test may be performed to determine the type of HPV. This test checks directly for the genetic material (DNA) of HPV within cells and can detect the types connected with cervical cancer. The test can be done with the same cell sample taken during the pap test.

The HPV test cannot be used on males. The FDA has only approved its use on the female’s cervix, and research has shown that the HPV test usually shows false negative results in men. These false negatives occur because it is difficult to get a good cell sample to test from the thick skin on the penis. There is currently no testing available to determine if a male has a type of HPV that causes cervical changes. Most of the time, men will not have any health risks such as cancer with the high-risk types of HPV.

There are no blood tests available to diagnose a person for HPV.

Treatment

HPV is a virus, and there is currently no cure. However, there are several treatment options available for both genital warts and cervical changes. The goal of treatment should be to remove visible genital warts or the abnormal cells. No one treatment is best for all cases. When choosing what treatment to use, the clinician will consider the type of HPV; patient preference; cost of treatment; convenience; size, location and number of warts; changes in the warts; location of abnormal cells; results of the pap smear; colposcopy; biopsy and HPV test; adverse effects; and their own experience with the treatments.

Genital Warts

  • Cryotherapy (freezing off the wart with liquid nitrogen). This can be relatively inexpensive and must be done by a trained clinician.
  • TCA (trichloracetic acid). This chemical is applied to the surface of the wart.
  • Surgical removal. This has the advantage of getting rid of warts in a single office visit.
  • Electrocautery (burning off warts with an electrical current).
  • Laser therapy (using an intense light to destroy warts). This is used for larger or extensive warts, especially those that have not responded well to other treatments. Laser therapy can also be very expensive.
  • At-home prescription creams. These creams are self-applied, safe and easy to use.

Abnormal Cervical Cells

Sometimes treatment may not even be necessary for mild cervical changes. These cells may heal on their own, and the clinician will just want to monitor the cervix. HPV may then be in a latent state, but it is unknown if it is totally gone or just not detectable. The goal of any treatment will be to remove the abnormal cells, which may also remove most of the cells with HPV. Treatment options include cryotherapy (freezing the cells with liquid nitrogen), LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure) or conization (cone biopsy).

HPV and Other Cancers

Anal cancer is a rare occurrence that has been strongly linked to high-risk types of HPV. Abnormal cell changes in the anal area are more common among individuals who engage in receiving anal sex. Abnormal changes in the anus have also been reported in some females who have a history of severe cervical changes. Treatment is available for anal cell changes and anal cancer.

Penile cancer is extremely rare in the U.S., and HPV is not always the cause. There are some cases of cell changes on the penis that are caused by high-risk types of HPV, but most males do not ever experience symptoms or health risks if they get one or more high-risk types of HPV.

HPV has been linked with some, but not all, cases of cell changes in the vagina and with vaginal cancers. Similarly, HPV has been linked with some, but not all, cases of cell changes on the vulva (outside female genital area) and with vulvar cancers. Treatment options are available for both vaginal or vulvar cell changes, depending on how mild or severe the cell changes are in this area.

Pregnancy and HPV

Most pregnant women who have had genital warts previously but no longer do would be unlikely to have any complications or problems during pregnancy or birth. Because of hormone changes in the body during pregnancy, warts can grow in size and number, bleed, or, in extremely rare cases, make delivery harder. Very rarely, babies exposed to the wart-types of HPV during birth may develop growths in the throat; however, this risk is so minimal that a cesarean-section delivery is not necessary unless warts are blocking the birth canal.

For some pregnant women, cervical changes may increase. This may be due to hormone changes during pregnancy, but this is not proven. If a woman has an abnormal pap smear during pregnancy, even if it’s severely abnormal, many health-care providers will not prescribe treatment. They will just monitor the cervix closely with a colposcope during the pregnancy. A few weeks after delivery of the baby, the provider will look at the cervix again and do another pap smear or another biopsy. Many times after pregnancy, the cell changes will have spontaneously resolved and no treatment will be necessary. The types of HPV that can cause cell changes on the cervix and genital skin have not been found to cause problems for babies.

Prevention

Any person who is sexually active may come in contact with this common virus. Ways to reduce your risk include not having sex with anyone or having sex only with one partner who has sex only with you. People who have many sex partners are at higher risk of getting other STIs.

If someone has visible symptoms of genital warts, he or she should not have sexual activity until the warts are removed. This may help to lower the risk of giving the virus.

Condoms used correctly from start to finish for each act of sex may provide some protection. Because HPV is transmitted skin-to-skin, and condoms do not cover the entire genital region, it is still possible to transmit the virus.

Source: This information was adapted from the American Social Health Association’s Web site at www.ashastd.org.

HPV Vaccine/Gardasil

Gardasil is the new HPV vaccine and is now available at Student Health Services. Students should call 662-915-7274 to make an appointment.

The purpose of this vaccine is to prevent cervical cancer and some cases of genital warts. Gardasil is effective against four types of HPV (types 6, 11, 16 and 18). Types 6 and 11 cause 90 percent of cases of genital warts, and types 16 and 18 cause 70 percent of cases of cervical cancer. The vaccine will not protect women against other subtypes (more than 100 exist), so it is important for them to have annual exams and regular pap smears, and to talk with their doctors if they note any changes that may be warts.

The vaccine is approved for women and girls aged 9-26. It is recommended that girls become vaccinated at age 11 or 12 (although it can be started as young as 9 years of age). It has not been studied in older women or in men, although there will be such studies in the future. The vaccine has undergone vigorous efficacy, safety and immunogenicity trials and has been approved by the FDA.

The vaccine requires three doses and currently costs $150 for each dose. The second dose should be received two months after the first and the third dose six months after the first. Side effects are mild and infrequent, and include pain, itching and swelling at the injection site (similar to other vaccines) and rarely, fever. A person should not get Gardasil if she is allergic to it or are pregnant. Anyone thinking about being vaccinated should check with her insurance company to see if the vaccine is covered.

Even women diagnosed with HPV will derive some benefit from the vaccine if they have not already been infected with one of the four types in the vaccine.

All sexually active women are at risk for HPV. It is estimated that 75-80 percent of all sexually active adults in the United States are infected. Most of these people do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected.

For more information: www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr56e312a1.htm

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Travel Services

The Travel Clinic provides both information about health risks of traveling abroad and vaccinations against various diseases that may be encountered in foreign countries. These services are available to students as well as university employees.

Vaccinations

Diseases such as yellow fever, typhoid fever and malaria, which are not typically acquired in the U.S., pose serious health consequences to persons traveling to foreign countries. Since health care in many foreign nations is less than adequate, becoming ill outside the U.S. not only makes your travel experience less than pleasant, but also places your health at greater risk. Many diseases can be effectively prevented if you receive appropriate vaccinations prior to travel.

Depending on your intended destination(s), various vaccines may be required for entry into a country or recommended by health-care providers for overall health safety. Because different diseases are more common in different parts of the world, vaccinations required or recommended will change depending on your travel plans. In addition, adequate immunization may require a series of shots over several weeks or months; therefore, foreign travel should be carefully planned so that all vaccinations can be administered and adequate time be given to confer immunity.

Travel Counseling

Counseling sessions are provided free of charge and typically last 30-45 minutes. These sessions include both verbal and written information regarding safe travel behaviors, vaccines that are recommended by the CDC and malaria-prevention advice. Vaccines and medications to prevent malaria may be purchased at the time of the visit, and the vaccines are administered at the V.B. Harrison Health Center.

For more information regarding foreign travel and the vaccinations that may be required or recommended for your trip, please contact Michael L. Warren, Pharm.D. (662-915-6754; mwarren@olemiss.edu)

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X-ray

Student Health Service provides digital radiographic services. Radiographs are performed by order of a Student Health Services clinician or a physician from outside the health center. Radiographs are read by radiologists at Baptist Memorial Hospital. The fee for the radiology reading is included in the fee from SHS. All radiographs are performed by certified technologists.

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Lab

Our laboratory provides a wide variety of laboratory services. Clinician referrals are required for all laboratory test except for MMR titer, RPR for marriage license and HIV. These test are available upon request. It is necessary to see a health-care provider to obtain the results of HIV test. Referrals from outside physicians are accepted.

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