Health Concerns

Stress, Anxiety, and Depression

Please see the Counseling Services website for information on this topic.

Colds, Flu and Sore throats

These are some of the most common medical complaints in college students. Here is some additional helpful information on dealing with these complaints:

  • Colds are caused by hundreds of rhinoviruses and because these constantly change then students get many different strains of colds over time.
    • Signs and Symptoms include:
      • Nasal congestion.
      • Sneezing.
      • Scratchy throat.
      • Slight cough.
      • Rarely a fever.
    • Care of colds including some prevention measures:
  • Flu is caused by viral infections. There are again many strains of virus that can cause influenza.
    • Signs and symptoms:
      • Sudden onset.
      • Fever.
      • Body aches, difficulty even getting out of bed.
      • Cough- usually dry.
      • Weakness.
      • Sore throat.
      • Warm flushed skin.
      • Nasal congestion.
  • Prevention of flu includes getting a yearly flu shot, washing hands well and frequently. Also don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth especially when in public, and wash your hands before and after. Avoid others who are sick.
    • Treatment:
      • Rest.
      • Increase fluids (stay well hydrated).
      • Anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen and Aleve.
      • Anti-fever medications such as Tylenol.
      • Decongestants.
      • Anti-viral medication prescribed by healthcare provider to help shorten the duration of symptoms and severity. Most effective when started within 48 hours.
  • Sore Throats can have viral, bacterial and irritants as their causes. Which makes them a very common sore of problems for many college students. Examination by a health care provider and many times laboratory testing is the only way to determine if a sore throat needs an antibiotic or not.
    • Signs and symptoms:
      • Painful throat.
      • Difficulty swallowing.
      • Very red throat.
      • Sometime white streaks or spots at the back of the throat.
    • Treatment:
      • Gargle with warm salt water.
      • Cough lozenges.
      • Antibiotics if prescribed by healthcare provider.
      • Anti-inflammatory or pain medication such as Aleve or ibuprofen.
      • Elevate head of bed while sleeping to assist with drainage of mucous from nasal congestion.

Covid

In 2020 the World Health organization first identified Sars-CoV-2 as a new Coronavirus. SARS-CoV-2 is one of seven types of coronaviruses, including the ones that cause severe diseases like Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The other coronaviruses cause most of the colds that affect us during the year but aren't a serious threat to otherwise healthy people.

Wofford College does not require COVID-19 vaccines or boosters but rather strongly recommends that faculty, staff and students be immunized against COVID-19 and receive booster vaccinations when they are eligible. COVID-19 vaccinations minimize the medical complications that can occur with the onset of the virus as well as protect those who cannot be immunized. Wofford College continues to shape its operations and COVID 19 guidelines, policies and procedures based on recommendations from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the local healthcare system. Wofford College is committed to providing a safe environment for our community. Health and safety guidelines are subject to evaluation and revision based on current trends and advice from the medical community.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Chills, sometimes with shaking
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion/runny nose
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Chart for distinguishing between these illnesses

Symptoms

Cold

Flu

Allergies

Covid-19

fever

Rare

High (100-102F), can last 3-4 days

Never

Common

headache

Rare

Intense

Uncommon

Can be present

general aches, pains

Slight

Usual, often severe

Never

Can be present

tiredness

Mild

Intense, starts early

Sometimes

Common

long-haul exhaustion

Never

Usualy gone in 2-3 weeks

Never

Can be present

stuffy/runny nose

Common

Sometimes

Common

Has been reported

sneezing

Usual

Sometimes

Usual

Has been reported

sore throat

Common

Common

Sometimes

Has been reported

cough

Mild to moderate

Common, can be severe

Sometimes

Common, can be severe

loss of taste and smell

Sometimes

Sometimes

Never

Has been reported

rash

Rare

Rare

Can happen

Has been reported

pink eye

Can happen

Can happen

Can happen

Can happen

diarrhea

Never

Sometimes in children

Never

Has been reported

shortness of breath

Rare

Rare

Rare, except for those with allergic asthma

In more serious infections

chest pain

Rare

In more serious infections

Rare

In more serious infections

Current guidelines on campus:

Any person testing positive for covid needs to inform the Wellness Center by emailing covid@wofford.edu or calling our office 864-597-4370.

We will then notify the person of the current recommendations for isolation and/or quarantine.

Currently (as of fall 2023) it is 5 days of isolation and 5 days of wearing masks everywhere. We will allow students to remain in their rooms if they have cube style rooms, their roommates have no problem, and they have a way of receiving food. We are no longer providing isolation spaces or delivering food to rooms. First year students do not have cube style rooms so they will need to find alternate spaces to isolate.

We will also notify faculty using a system called Starfish of the extended length of absence from class. It is still up to the student to contact their faculty member to find out about how they can keep up in classes.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/isolation.html

Allergies

Allergies are part of your body’s immune response to something foreign. Students who have never had allergies may develop at any time in their lives, but for students at Wofford many develop them when they come to college.

Here is link to the Weather Channel’s Allergy count for this area.

  • Allergy information
    • Signs and Symptoms:
      • Sneezing.
      • Sniffling.
      • Itchy, watery eyes.
      • Itchy skin.
      • Rashes.
      • Shortness of breath.
      • Coughing.
    • Treatment and tips for minimizing problems:
      • Clean room regularly.
      • Minimize clutter.
      • Wash sheets on hot cycle.
      • Use an air filter.
      • Keep windows closed.
      • After determining that you have allergies your health care provider will recommend medications.
        • Antihistamines such as Allegra, Claritin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl. Also, nasal sprays, or saline nasal spray/rinses may be recommended.
        • Epi pens for severe allergies.

Mono

Mono is a viral illness that is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. It can leave a person with a sore throat, tiredness, and weakness for days or months. It is usually self-resolving but at times it can cause other problems, especially with sore throat or dehydration.

This virus has an incubation period of 4-8 weeks, which means you may not show symptoms until after you have already contracted the illness.

  • Signs and symptoms:
    • Fatigue.
    • Weakness.
    • Sore throat, sometimes strep throat.
    • Fever.
    • Swollen lymph nodes in your neck or armpits.
    • Swollen tonsils.
    • Headache.
    • Skin rash.
    • Loss of appetite.
    • Night sweats.
    • Swollen spleen.
  • Prevention and Treatment:
    • Avoid sharing drinks, utensils, ChapStick, toothbrushes.
    • Plenty of rest.
    • Drink lots of water.
    • Gargle with warm salt water.
    • Avoid contact sports or heavy lifting.
    • Take Ibuprofen or Tylenol as directed.

MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)

This is a type of staph bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics. This infection is primarily associated with the hospital setting it is increasing becoming more common in other settings.

  • Signs and symptoms:
    • warm to the touch.
    • full of pus or other drainage.
    • accompanied by a fever.
  • Prevention:
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and cover them with bandages.
    • Do not touch others bandages.
    • Do not share personal items such as towels or razors.
  • Treatment:
    • Contact your health care provider if you develop a sore that looks like a pimple or boil, and becomes painful, swollen or filled with pus.
    • These infections need prompt attention and need to have the correct antibiotics prescribed to treat them.

Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea

Nausea and vomiting can be signs of Gastrointestinal distress, illness, allergic reaction or adverse reaction to something eaten. Nausea and vomiting can be the main signs of a stomach virus. These viruses are usually short lived 12-24 hours.

  • Signs and symptoms:
    • Throwing up, or vomiting.
    • Feeling queasy.
  • Treatment:
    • Rest.
    • Clear liquids such as Gatorade, ginger ale, apple juice, white grape juice or other electrolyte drinks.
    • Ibuprofen for headaches.
    • Over the counter medicine for nausea such as Pepto Bismol and Dramamine.

Diarrhea is characterized by loose, watery stools, and extremely uncomfortable stomach aches.

It can be the Body’s way of expelling something you have eaten that does not agree with you It can also be a sign of food poisoning, or Crohn’s disease.

  • Causes:
    • Allergies to certain foods.
    • Infection by bacteria or other organisms.
    • Medication.
    • Radiation therapy.
    • Laxative abuse.
    • Alcohol abuse.
    • Diabetes.
    • Competitive running.
    • Disease of the intestines.
  • Signs and symptoms:
    • Abdominal bloating.
    • Thin or loose stools.
    • Watery stools.
    • Sense of urgency to have a bowel movement.
    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Blood, mucus or undigested food in stool.
    • Weight loss.
    • Fever.
  • Treatment:
    • Keep hydrated.
    • Use over the counter medicine for diarrhea.
    • Usually resolved on its own in a few hours.
    • See healthcare provider if you have sharp abdominal pain, bloody stools, fever or start to get dehydrated.

Sleep Difficulties

Sleep difficulties occur when your body does not get enough rest.

  • Signs and symptoms:
    • Difficulty falling asleep or trouble getting back to sleep.
    • Waking up frequently during the night.
    • Light, fragmented sleep.
    • The need for sleeping pills or supplements.
    • Sleepiness or low energy during the day.
  • Prevention of sleep problems:
    • Have a regular bedtime and wake time.
    • Use your bed only for sleeping (not studying).
    • Try not to take naps for more than 30 minutes.
    • Keep the room cool and dark.
    • Exercise.
    • Avoid or limit caffeine, alcohol or nicotine.
    • Avoid large meals before bedtime.
    • Remember that you need between 7-9 hours of sleep.
    • Limit screentime on devices close to bedtime.
  • Treatment:
    • Practice mindfulness medication.
    • Use all of the prevention strategies.
    • Meet with your Healthcare provider or counselor to discuss other therapies.

Information obtained from: