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Bed bugs are unwelcome visitors in your dorm room, right? Unfortunately, parasites like head lice, pubic lice, and bed bugs may've already made it through the door. Here's what you need to know about preventing and treating bug bites.
Transcript: Bugged by bugs? Most college students will have to deal with at least one communicable bug at some point....
Bugged by bugs? Most college students will have to deal with at least one communicable bug at some point. One common college parasite, the bed bug, is a miniscule reddish insect, which sleeps in your bed during the day and feeds on your blood at night. These bugs are most commonly found in places with a high turnover, like your dorm room, and in warmer locations. Bed bug bites are itchy and show up as small red bumps, often in a linear or cluster formation. There isn't a treatment for bed bugs, so much as there is a need to get rid of the places they may be living. Unfortunately, it may not be exactly obvious where they are hiding. Any sheets, clothes or other places that you suspect might be harboring the bed bugs should be washed in super hot water, frozen for at least 24 hours, or just thrown awayLice are another type of parasite. The louse, which is the singular term for lice, comes in three forms, each of which feasts on a particular body part. Head lice are sesame-seed sized grayish bugs, which attach to the hair shaft and lay eggs there. Sharing grooming products, or your headphones, may result in the transmission of head lice. Body lice are slightly larger and live in your clothing, waiting to feed off your skin. They're typically passed by sharing clothing and by extensive bed hopping. Finally, pubic lice are round, with three pairs of legs on either side of their bodies. They are spread via sexual contact and burrow into your pubic hair to lay eggs. Intense itching of the infected body part is characteristic of all three forms of lice, and a red rash may accompany body lice. Because lice are larger than bed bugs, they are also easier to see with the naked eye. If you suspect an unwanted hanger-on, visit the doctor to confirm what type of bug is living with you. She will recommend an over-the-counter itch treatment and/or an anti-lice agent to kill the invader. After your infection clears up, you'll also have to do a complete clothing and bedding overhaul. Wash everything in super hot water, or freeze your clothing for at least 24 hours. It's a lot of work, but communicable bugs, like an unwelcome party guest, will continuously show up if you don't give them the boot.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-26 | Tags »
bed bugs, parasites, head lice, public lice, lice, sheets, rash, head lice, bug bites, insect bites, bugs, parasite signs, symptoms, college dorms, dorm room, dorm beds,communicable disease, college health, skin health, sex health beds, campus, infestation, grooming
Although 95 percent of people will get mononucleosis at some point in their lives, mono makes itself most known on college campuses. If you're experiencing symptoms of mono, like constant fatigue or general lethargy, it's probable you've got it.
Transcript: College is a hook up heaven, and that means it's also a breeding ground for mono. In fact, one in two...
College is a hook up heaven, and that means it's also a breeding ground for mono. In fact, one in two hundred college students will contract mono annually! Infectious mononucleosis is a contagious disease transmitted by saliva. The good news about mono is that it's rarely very serious. The bad news is that it will put you out of commission for a minimum of one week-and for as long as two months! Since mono is spread through saliva, it is usually transmitted via kissing, hence its nickname as the "kissing disease." But sharing cups, like in beer pong, or utensils, can also lead to mono. And so can living in confined quarters with someone who has the kissing disease. It would be easy if you could just avoid swapping saliva with an infected individual! However, mono incubates for four to eight weeks, during which time it is quite contagious - and has no symptoms. As a result, it's nearly impossible to completely avoid people who are infected. As a result of mono's long dormant period, you probably won't experience symptoms for a period of at least four weeks post-infection. But once the disease is done incubating, you'll notice a loss of appetite, chills, and severe lethargy. Several days later, these initial symptoms will often by joined by swollen lymph nodes, sore throat and a high fever. At this point, if you haven't already, you should definitely head to your college's health care providers, who will be able to test your blood to confirm mono. If you are infected, however, there's not much you can do but to tell your profs and pals, then lie low and wait it out. Treat your symptoms with over-the-counter remedies, like throat numbing sprays and ibuprofen. And remember: You may or may not still be contagious at this point, so it's best to avoid swapping saliva until you've fully recovered.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-14 | Tags »
mononucleosis, mono, mono symptoms,mononucleosis, mono, mono symptoms, kissing disease, saliva, spread disease, symptoms of mono, loss of appetite, chills, lethargy, fatigue, sore throat, high fever, swollen glands, swollen lymph nodes sharing drinks,beer pong, sharing utensils, making out, kissing, contagious diseases, diseases in college, college dorm college health, college students
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis as your doctor may call it, is a contagious disease that affects many college students. Blame close quarters and bad hygiene for this itchy ailment. Watch to learn how to treat and - even better - avoid the eye infection.
Transcript: Pink eye isn't just for kids anymore-in fact, it may be coming to a college campus near you. Pink eye,...
Pink eye isn't just for kids anymore-in fact, it may be coming to a college campus near you. Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that lines the eyelid. If you contract pink eye, you'll experience redness, tearing, itching, discharge, and/or sensitivity to light. The problem with pink eye is that it can be caused by a number of different factors, and each requires a different treatment. Often, conjunctivitis stems from the transmission of bacteria and viruses from person to person. This could happen by sharing towels with your roommate, or by touching infected surfaces and then your eyes. If a visit to the health center shows that your pink eye stems from a virus, you're out of luck. All you'll be able to do is wait out the infection, which can take up to five days. On the other hand, bacteria-based pink eye can be treated with a prescription antibiotic, ending the contagious period much sooner. Some pink eye can be caused by environmental factors, as well, including allergens and chemicals. But these forms of conjunctivitis aren't contagious, and are less likely to plague you on campus.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-18 | Tags »
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Did you know that, as a college student, it's recommended you get an annual flu shot? Since you're in such close quarters, it's all too likely you'll catch influenza when bypassing the flu vaccine. Watch this to learn more about the shot.
Transcript: The flu vaccine: Is it miracle drug, or a cause for concern? Influenza, the formal name for the flu,...
The flu vaccine: Is it miracle drug, or a cause for concern? Influenza, the formal name for the flu, is a contagious respiratory virus that infects up to 20-percent of the U.S. population each year. While some people recover from the flu quickly, others can stay sick for weeks, and each year 36,000 people die from the virus. Because different forms of the flu circulate each year, a new flu vaccine is developed annually. Each year's vaccine is designed to protect against the strains of the flu that are expected to circulate during that season. There are two different types of vaccine used.The more commonly used form contains inactivated, or dead, forms of the flu virus, and is delivered via an injection called the flu shot. Because the virus in the flu shot is dead, it cannot cause the flu in people who receive it, but it will help the body create antibodies to fight live flu viruses. The flu shot doesn't usually come with any side effects, although some people experience tenderness at the injection site. The flu vaccine is also available as a nasal spray, which contains live, but weakened versions of the flu virus. As a result, the nasal spray can cause flu-like symptoms in some individuals, although it cannot actually give you the flu,These symptoms-which may include headache, runny nose, and a sore throat-do not last for more than a day or two. Whichever kind of flu vaccine you choose, though, the CDC has developed a few guidelines to help you stay safe. One such recommendation is that you get the vaccine in September or November, before peak flu season starts. This is because the vaccine takes two weeks to create antibodies against the flu virus, and become effective. Because the nasal spray is more potent than the shot, this form is only recommended for healthy individuals between the ages of two and 49. Babies, people over 49, and thos with compromised immune systems, should stick with the flu shot.Of course, not everyone needs an annual flu vaccine. Only members of the following groups should always get one....pregnant women, children from six-months to 19 years old, adults over 50, people living in nursing homes, and people with certain medical conditions, like HIV. But even if you're not in a "recommended" group, it can still be smart to get the flu vaccine. After all, the vaccination protects against the flu about 80-percent of the time, and it's the most effective way to ward off the virus. So if you are someone who frequently comes into contact with children, like a teacher or a parent, or if you live in communal housing like a dorm or a sorority house, getting a flu shot is often a wise precaution. So why let germs defeat you? Fight back against the flu this season!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-17 | Tags »
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Meningitis, bacterial or viral, is an infection that can be serious, even deadly. Watch this video to see how common meningitis is and how to treat the infection if you catch it.
Transcript: Meningitis. Sounds serious, doesn't it? Well, it can be. Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation...
Meningitis. Sounds serious, doesn't it? Well, it can be. Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the meninges, which are the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. There are two types of meningitis: bacterial and viral. Bacterial meningitis is rare, but can be life threatening if not treated right away. Viral meningitis usually seems like a really bad case of the flu, and is usually much less serious. Viral meningitis can be caused by enteroviruses, which are found in mucus, saliva, and feces. They are transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or a contaminated object. Sometimes other viruses including flu, herpes, mumps, West Nile, and HIV can trigger viral meningitis. This type of meningitis is most common in children and adults under age 30, and often causes only flu-like symptoms and gastrointestinal distress. In more severe cases it can trigger pain and seizures. It typically clears up on its own in 2 to 4 weeks with no lasting complications. Bacterial meningitis needs immediate medical treatment or it could potentially be fatal. Aggressive antibacterial treatment is needed to reduce the risk of brain damage, or worse. And long-term treatment and therapy may be needed to recover from the physical damage this infection can cause. A confusing aspect of meningitis is that both bacterial and viral meningitis have similar symptoms in the early stages, which include a stiff neck, fever, headache and possibly nausea. Because bacterial meningitis can be so serious and needs treatment, you should get to the doctor right away to determine which type you might have. A spinal tap, blood cultures and a CT scan of the head will help your doctor figure out a treatment plan, and routine immunizations can go a long way towards meningitis prevention.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-18 | Tags »
meningitis, bacterial, viral, deadly infection, brain, spinal cord, brain damage, enteroviruses, flu, feces, poop, herpes, mumps, West Nile, HIV, transmission, contamination, fever, stomach problems, seizures, stiff neck, headache, nausea, spinal tap, blood cultures, CT scan, campus illness, college illness, sick students virus, infection, bacteria, symptoms, cause, treatment, diagnosis, prevention, triggers, complications, immunizations, vaccine, vaccinations, risk factors, at risk, hand washing, personal hygiene communicable disease, illnesses, contagious, disease prevention
Some people are more susceptible to catching meningitis than others, which is why it's important to know about risk factors. Watch this video to learn about the most common meningitis risk factors.
Transcript: Anyone can get meningitis, which is an infection of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord....
Anyone can get meningitis, which is an infection of the membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. But some people are more vulnerable than others. The infection is most commonly caused by a virus or bacteria. Viral meningitis accounts for about 80 percent of the cases. It often seems like a bad case of the flu and may not require any medical treatment. It's usually spread hand to mouth after contact with anyone or anything--- such as saliva, feces, or mucus - that's contaminated with the triggering viruses. Enteroviruses, the flu virus, mumps, measles and herpes simplex virus can all cause viral meningitis. Bacterial meningitis, on the other hand, is much less common, affecting between 4 and 8 thousand people a year in the U.S. Young children, people living in communal environments, such as college dorms, those with weakened immune systems, because of cancer treatment or HIV, for example, and the elderly, are most likely to get it. More than 50 types of bacteria can cause the infection. If you fall into any of the high risk groups, such as college kids or someone with a weakened immune system, having additional risk factors can make you more likely to come down with the infection. These additional risk factors include: excessive alcohol consumption; diabetes; a head injury or trauma; a recent ear or respiratory infection, including pneumonia; or missing a spleen, if for example yours was removed. And, although exceedingly rare in this country, women are at increased risk for bacterial meningitis during pregnancy because of immune system changes. For both viral and bacterial meningitis, an effective way to reduce your risk of infection is to make sure to wash your hands after you change a baby's diaper, use the bathroom, or prepare food. And always wash your hands BEFORE eating or drinking. There is a vaccine against bacterial meningitis and it is recommended for infants 9 months and older, college students in their first year, military recruits, and anyone traveling to locations where food and water may be sources of infection.For more information on viral and bacterial meningitis, check out other videos on this site.More »
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If you’ve contracted meningitis, viral or bacterial, it’s possible you may not even know it. But when meningitis symptoms set in, you'll know it. Watch this for a list of common symptoms.
Transcript: If you've contracted meningitis, it's possible you may not even know it. Meningitis - a disease that...
If you've contracted meningitis, it's possible you may not even know it. Meningitis - a disease that causes inflammation of the lining that covers your brain and spinal cord - is often mistaken for a bad case of the flu. However, whether you've contracted viral or, the more serious, bacterial, meningitis, it will likely come with some additional symptoms, including: sudden high fever and chills, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting, severe headache, skin rash, rapid breathing, sensitivity to light, dizziness and confusion, agitation, fatigue, and a lack of appetite. Viral meningitis is the most common form of meningitis in the U.S. While it's usually mild, it can take a couple of weeks to get over. Bacterial meningitis much rarer, but often more serious-20% of people who get it will die and 25 to 50 % will have long term neurological damage. Treatment with antibiotics is most effective if it's immediate and aggressive. To determine if viral or bacterial meningitis is responsible for your symptoms, tests such as blood cultures and a spinal tap are needed. So remember, if you experience any of these symptoms, don't just assume you've just got the flu. Contact your doctor.More »
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Understanding viral meningitis is actually pretty easy when you've got the facts. So watch this for everything you need to know from causes and symptoms to treatment and prevention.
Transcript: Reports of viral meningitis pop up more in the summer months than any other time of the year. That's...
Reports of viral meningitis pop up more in the summer months than any other time of the year. That's because the viruses that can trigger this form of meningitis thrive from late May through early September. People in communal living environments, such as college dorms or military barracks, young children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Enteroviruses, similar to the virus that causes the common cold, are the most frequent trigger. They're found in the saliva, sputum, nasal mucus and feces of an infected person. Viral meningitis also can be triggered by the West Nile virus, the flu, mumps, measles, chicken pox, shingles, and herpes simplex.These viruses are spread from person to person by touching any object an infected person has touched, by sharing drinks and utensils, kissing, or being near someone who's infected and coughing. Washing your hands before and after handling food -- and after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, using the bathroom, or changing diapers -- can help prevent the spread. Viral meningitis accounts for about 80 percent of all meningitis cases, and is generally mild without any lingering repercussions. In fact, it may not require medical attention. But it can cause high fever and chills, nausea and vomiting, severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, fatigue and a lack of appetite. One warning: you can't tell if your symptoms indicate viral or bacterial meningitis. Bacterial meningitis is potentially life-threatening and it requires prompt treatment with antibiotics to prevent serious complications. That's why it's important to see a doctor as soon as symptoms appear. A simple blood test can tell you what type of meningitis you have. There's no specific treatment for viral meningitis, although you may ease symptoms with anti-inflammatory pain relievers or anti-nausea medication. For more information on communicable diseases, check out other videos in this series.More »
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Everyone's curious as to why whooping cough is back, including you, obviously. For a quick answer to your question, watch this video.
Transcript: Bet you thought you were all done with vaccinations-they're for kids aren't they? Well, actually no....
Bet you thought you were all done with vaccinations-they're for kids aren't they? Well, actually no. And the resurgence of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a clear example of how important RE-vaccination can be. In 2004 there were 25,000 reported cases of whooping cough; by 2012 there were 22,000 cases in the first half of the year alone. So roll up your shirt sleeve and brace for the prick of the needle. Whether you are 18 or 58, it's time to get a booster shot to protect yourself from this respiratory infection that triggers violent coughing fits. It turns out you are vulnerable because the DTaP vaccinations that are given to infants and children to protect them from diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis wear off after about 10 years. That means if you haven't had a vaccine since you were a child, you may be unprotected. If you're over 18, you need what is called a TDaP booster; but only about 8% of adults have had one. Children who have not completed the DTaP vaccination schedule, which involves 5 injections from 2 months old until they are 6, should do so as soon as possible. If a child is not vaccinated against pertussis at all, she is 8 times more likely to come down with whooping cough. And it is a terrible thing to have a child suffer that greatly-and unnecessarily. So help stop the spread of whooping cough. Make sure your children are vaccinated and that you get a booster. It keeps your family healthy and keeps you from catching the cough and then spreading it to those most vulnerable - babies and the elderly-who can suffer serious complications or possibly death.More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-07 | Tags »
whooping cough, highly contagious, bacteria bordetella pertussis, increase in instances, cases, re-vaccination, DTaP, TDap, shot, booster, transmission, students, children, daycare, teens, college students, campus, dorms, respiratory infection, immunizations, vaccine, vaccinations, bacteria, symptoms, treatment, prevention, triggers, complications, risk factors, at risk, diagnosis, hand washing, personal hygiene communicable disease, illnesses, contagious, disease prevention
You've probably heard of the chicken pox - shingles connection, but do really you understand it? Watch this video to get to the root of the relationship between these two viruses.
Transcript: Once you've had chicken pox, you can never get it again, right? Not quite. The varicella-zoster virus...
Once you've had chicken pox, you can never get it again, right? Not quite. The varicella-zoster virus that causes chicken pox is the same one that triggers the nerve disorder, shingles, also called herpes zoster. Once that virus is in the body, it lies dormant in nerve cells around the spinal cord, waiting to someday be reawakened. What reactivates the herpes zoster virus? No one knows for sure, but it seems that as we age our immune system gets weaker, and we are less able to hold the virus in check. When something like a cold or the flu comes along, or if we have a chronic illness, the sleeping virus may wake up and cause trouble. Shingles can trigger burning, itching, or tingling sensations and severe nerve pain. A rash usually develops and blisters come in waves lasting 3 to 5 days. Untreated it can become chronic. And even with treatment it can persist for months or years. The chicken pox vaccine has only been in the US since 1995, and has been required for school-aged children in most states since around 2000. For kids who have been vaccinated, the risk of chicken pox and shingles is almost zero. But for adults--90% of whom have already had chicken pox-shingles is a risk. In fact, around 30% of people who have had chicken pox will get shingles. These days, all children at age 1 and age 4 should get the chicken pox vaccine and any adult who didn't have the vaccine as a child, and has never had chicken pox, should get it right away. Adults who had chicken pox as a child can get a shingles vaccine; it prevents shingles about 51 percent of the time and if you do get shingles, chances are it will be milder than usual. To learn more on chicken pox and shingles watch other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2012-12-07 | Tags »
chicken pox, shingles, virus, varicella zoster virus, nerve disorder, herpes, spinal cord, immune system, cold, flu, burning, itching, tingling, nerve pain, rash, blisters, disease prevention immunizations, vaccine, vaccinations, immunity, personal hygiene, disease prevention communicable disease, illnesses, contagious, disinfecting
Staph infection basics, from causes and symptoms to treatment and prevention, it's 'need to know' information. Watch this video to brush up staph infection facts.
Transcript: Here's a fact for you: Staph bacteria are commonly found on the skin and in the nasal passages of healthy...
Here's a fact for you: Staph bacteria are commonly found on the skin and in the nasal passages of healthy folks. But sometimes, because your immune system isn't quite up to fighting them off, or you get a big dose of bacteria through an open cut, you may develop a staph infection. The most common kind of staph infection is on the skin. It triggers infected hair follicles, abscesses, large boils or blisters. These are usually red, tender and can sometimes ooze pus or blood. These abscesses can turn into impetigo, which causes crusty oozing blisters. Or even cellulitis, which causes the skin to swell, turn red and feel hot to the touch. If the bacteria are able to make its way into your bloodstream, it becomes a more serious blood poisoning known as bacteremia or sepsis. Symptoms of sepsis are fever and increased heart and respiratory rate. If sepsis is left untreated, it can lead to septic shock, which can be life threatening. Rarely staph can cause gastrointestinal upset, toxic shock or pneumonia. If you think you have a staph infection, get to your doctor right away for treatment- especially if you have a chronic condition, such as diabetes or lung disease, that can increase your risk of complications. If a blood test confirms you have staph, the affected skin areas may be drained and washed with antibacterial cleanser. Oral antibiotics may also be necessary. Some strains of staph, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA, are resistant to most antibiotics and require aggressive treatment, and possibly hospitalization. Staph bacteria are transmitted from person to person contact or by touching an object handled by an infected person. To reduce your chance infection, wash your hands regularly with soap and water, keep any cuts clean and covered, and avoid sharing items like razors, clothing or towels. For more information on other communicable illnesses, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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Norovirus. It's a lot more common that you think. But what is norovirus? If you're curious, watch this video to find out.
Transcript: You may not know it by name, but the norovirus is what has turned so many Caribbean cruises into floating...
You may not know it by name, but the norovirus is what has turned so many Caribbean cruises into floating infirmaries. It's found in the feces of humans and animals. You can catch it by ingesting contaminated food or water, or by touching something contaminated with the virus and then touching your mouth. Most of us have suffered from norovirus at some point in our lives. Often called the stomach flu, this highly contagious bug infects 21 million Americans a year, and is often confused with food poisoning because the symptoms are similar. If you've caught the norovirus, within 1 to 2 days you'll develop nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhea, headaches, and perhaps a fever. The good news is that most people get better within 3 days. However, severe dehydration or malnutrition can occur, especially in children and senior citizens, and the consequences can be deadly. If you feel thirsty, light-headed, and are urinating less frequently, chances are you are already dehydrated. So, from the first sign of the infection, make sure you drink more fluids that you usually would. And see the doctor if you cannot keep down enough fluid to relieve dehydration. To avoid catching the norovirus, wash your hands frequently, especially after coming in contact with someone you know is sick. If you live or work with someone who has the virus, disinfect surfaces that have been touched. Keep in mind, the virus can be transmitted for up to two weeks after a person first becomes ill. To learn about other contagious illnesses, check out the rest of the videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2014-01-02 | Tags »
norovirus, stomach flu, viral, hand to mouth, contamination, contaminated food, contaminated water, stomach problems, feces, poop, respiratory fluids, food poisoning, nausea, vomiting, stomach pains, diarrhea, headache, fever, complications, dehydration, malnutrition, children, students, college, elderly, campus, nursing home, highly contagious, bed rest, sleep virus, infection, bacteria, symptoms, cause, treatment, diagnosis, prevention, triggers, complications, immunizations, vaccine, vaccinations, risk factors, at risk, hand washing, personal hygiene communicable disease, illnesses, contagious, disinfecting, disease prevention
Even though it remains rare in the US, every year a few cases of tuberculosis seem to crop up on college campuses. Watch this to see what you need to know.
Transcript: You may think of TB, or tuberculosis, as a Victorian ailment, sending swooning ladies off to a sanatorium...
You may think of TB, or tuberculosis, as a Victorian ailment, sending swooning ladies off to a sanatorium to recover. But even though it remains rare in the US, every year a few cases seem to crop up on college campuses, making big headlines. TB is caused by airborne bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which are transmitted in droplets that can be inhaled when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or even TALKS. The tuberculosis vaccine is called BCG. It's more commonly used overseas than in the United States, because in the US TB infection rates are low, the vaccine is not entirely effective, and it can make PPD tests, used to detect both active and latent TB, inaccurate. The reason TB sometimes appears on college campuses is that students often live in dorms and other closely packed environments that bring together people from places around the world where the disease is much more common. Someone may carry the disease without knowing it and then spread it to others. The obvious symptoms of TB are chest pain and coughing that lasts more than 3 weeks. Some people will cough up a thick phlegm or blood. Weight loss, limited appetite, fever, chills, fatigue and night sweats are also common with more advanced TB. A diagnosis can be made in a few ways. The first is a skin test. A small amount of tuberculin is injected under the skin, and if the bacteria are present, a reaction occurs within 48 hours. If you test positive, your doctor may give you a chest X-ray to look for signs of the disease in your lungs. A sample of the phlegm can also be taken and tested for bacteria. Prompt and aggressive treatment of TB is essential-even if you don't have symptoms. And you must stick with treatment for as long as necessary. Often that means taking a pill every day or twice a week for 4 to 9 months. Check out more ways to stay healthy at college by watching more videos.More »
Last Modified: 2013-01-15 | Tags »
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