Recent News & Announcements
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines measles as a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people around this individual could potentially become infected if they are not protected.
Measles starts with a fever. Soon after, it causes a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out. It starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body. Measles can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death.
Five cases of measles have been confirmed and reported within Harris, Montgomery and Galveston counties since the beginning of 2019. There are no reported cases of measles at the University of Houston.
Measles can be prevented. The MMR vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. The CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teenagers and adults should also be up to date on their MMR vaccination. Teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get 2 doses separated by at least 28 days.
If you suspect you have the measles, call your doctor but do not visit in person. The last thing healthcare providers want in a waiting room is a person shedding the measles virus. There can be enough virus floating in droplets in the air to infect others up to two hours after you leave. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, call an urgent clinic or telemedicine provider and stay home until somebody gives you instructions otherwise.
The MMR vaccine is available at the UH Student Health Center (SHC) for $85 per dose (no out-of-pocket cost if enrolled in the UHS endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan). Several other surrounding health care facilities and pharmacies are able to administer the vaccine as well.
A measles titer to check if one already has immunity costs $40 at our lab (no out-of-pocket cost if enrolled in the UHS endorsed Student Health Insurance Plan).
April 23, 2019
Dear University of Houston Community,
The Houston Health Department has informed the University of Houston and UH Student Health Center leadership that an individual on this campus is being treated for active tuberculosis (TB).
TB is a disease that spreads through the air by a person with active TB disease. The bacteria that cause TB are generally only transmitted to people who have prolonged close contact with someone with infectious tuberculosis. Casual contact is generally not sufficient for transmission of the TB bacteria. At this time, nobody else on this campus has developed symptoms of TB.
The University is working closely with the Houston Health Department to identify any student, faculty or staff member who should be tested for TB infection. The Houston Health Department determines who needs testing based on the type of exposure a student or employee has had to the sick individual. If you are identified as someone who needs to be tested, a separate letter will be sent to you with the date, time and location for testing.
Houston Health Department officials will be on campus on Monday, April 29 from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. in the Multipurpose Room West - Student Center South, and Tuesday, April 30, 11 a.m. – noon, in the Multipurpose Room West - Student Center South, to give a presentation for faculty, students and staff about tuberculosis and to answer any questions you might have.
For a list of UH Health resources and answers to frequently asked questions about this case, visit this site. For more information about TB, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Texas Department of State Health Services.
Please be assured that we are taking this situation seriously, with your wellbeing in mind.
Vanessa Tilney, M.D.
Executive Director/Chief Physician
UH Student Health Center
Specific questions and concerns should be directed to the Houston Health Department at 832-393-5169 (Option) or 832-393-4799.
Our thanks to Hallie Vanderhider, this year’s Houston Chair of the American Heart Association Go Red For Women Campaign, for generously providing our campus with a brand new higi™ station.
All UH students, staff, and faculty now have free and convenient access to this machine which tracks blood pressure, pulse, weight, and BMI. The University of Houston is the first college campus to have one!
The higi™ station is located near the UH Student Health Center and Campus Pharmacy at the Wheeler Street entrance of the Health 2 Building. Come check it out and see just how easy it is to measure numbers that are important to your health.
HPV Vaccine Recommendations
The Student Health Center recognizes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently expanded its approval for the Gardasil 9 HPV Vaccine up for males and females up to 45 years of age.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunizations Practices (ACIP) should be reviewing the expanded age range and determine if the changes will be included in the 2019 immunization schedule.
The Student Health Center follows the ACIP approved immunization schedule which DOES NOT include the expanded age range at this time. The Student Health Insurance Plan and most other insurance companies will not currently accept claims for this vaccine administered to the expanded age range.
Background Application for Expanded Age Indication for 9-valent HPV Vaccine