Category Archives: center for disease control

Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs by Michael Osterholm

Join us this Thursday night (23rd) for a presentation featuring the internationally recognized figure Michael Osterholm. Osterholm was a co-author for the book Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs. During the presentation he will be talking about several threats and topics concerning the public such as:

  • the reality and emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria
  • bio terrorism as a certainty
  • the increasing risk of a devastating influenza pandemic

After the event he will be having a book signing event. The presentation will be in Langseth Hall 104 at 7 pm on campus.



Protect yourself. National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2017

Every year 40,000 people are formally diagnosed with HIV. Currently there is an estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV. The number that should be getting diagnosed is actually much higher, as 13-20% of the 1.2 million are unaware that they are infected.

What most people don’t know about HIV is that there are three stages, AIDS being one of them.

  • Acute infection. About 2-4 weeks after being infected, the individual will suffer many flu symptoms in addition to severally swollen glands and a borderline headache/migraine. Many people describe this stage as the worst flu of their life. The individual can transmit the virus to others as soon as 2 weeks after being infected.
  • Latency. After this the virus goes into hiding. It will continue to multiple at low levels in your blood. There will be no visible symptoms, and this stage can last anywhere from a few months to decades. The individual can still transmit the virus to others at this stage.
  • AIDS. The individual’s immune system crashes. It allows them to be easily infected by another infection. The life expectancy once you get to this stage is under 3 years. The individual is still contagious until the very end.

There are medications that can be taken to slow the rate or chances of one’s latency from progressing to AIDS, like ART (Antiretroviral Therapy). Two other drugs have recently come onto the market. PrEP and PEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis) work as precautionary measures to decrease the likelihood of infection. PrEP can be taken daily for as long as you are at risk and PEP can be taken after an encounter where you believe you were exposed. They work to lower the likelihood of infection by as much as 97%.

There are several things that one can do to lower their chances of infection.

  • Where a male/female condom during every sexual encounter. This includes oral and anal as well as vaginal. HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids and vaginal fluids. A condom decreases the chances that one will come in contact with one of these mediums. Women are even more likely to be infected during vaginal sex then their male counterparts. The infected semen has a large surface area to come in contact with and can remain in the vagina for several days, increasing the risk.
  • Be treated for other STDs. More so then men, women increase their chances of HIV by having by having another STD. The other STD lowers any barriers the body may have making it easier for the virus to get in.
  • Avoid injectable drugs. By sharing needles or using needles of unknown history, you may be contaminating yourself with infected blood.
  • Avoid the misuse of alcohol and drugs. These cause impairments in your decision making abilities. Doing so may decrease the chance of using a condom or increase the chance of using a needle.
  • Be monogamous. If that is not an option, talk to your sexual partners about their history. If someone is unsure of their status, have them get tested. For now, under Obamacare you can get tested for free.
  • Take PrEP. It may be expensive, but this preemptive move may save you more than what you would spend if you did contract HIV.
  • Take PEP. If something happens and you think you might have been exposed, begin taking the necessary doses of PEP within 72 hours of the contact.

There are also several threats that only effect women. This awareness day works to bring attention to both the above facts and these. Women are more likely to be the victims of sexual abuse.People that have histories of abuse are more likely to not go in for testing. They are also less likely to receive treatment for HIV if they are already positive. The abuse itself might give frequent exposure to the virus.

Women are also able to transmit the virus to their children through breastfeeding. Mothers are warned to not breastfeed their babies and to find a local breast milk bank or to use a formula. If the mother does, the chances of the baby becoming infected decreases to less than 1%.

For more information visit


National Wear Red Day (3rd) and American Heart Month

We all know the symptoms of a heart attack, right? You clutch your left shoulder/arm and collapse. If you have a tendency for the dramatics, you’ll fall to your knees before you go all the way down, making eye contact and reaching for someone. Seems kind of sudden, out of the blue, right? What most people don’t know is that there are more symptoms that can start days or even weeks before the actual attack. Bet you didn’t know that symptoms are also different for men and women.

The four symptoms that are commonly reported for both sexes are pain, shortness of breath, breaking out in a cold sweat and fatigue. The rest of the symptoms can occur in both genders, but each is more likely to experience a certain set of aches and pains. Like for example, men are more likely to feel pain in the right side of their chest, experience indigestion and only feel a dull ache instead of a throbbing pain. On the other side of the spectrum, women are more likely to experience bouts of vomiting, feel a pressing on their chest, experience a sharp pain in the middle of their back or feel pain in their neck, throat or mouth.

Now what else do you think you know about heart attacks and heart disease? You probably know that they are in the top ten killers of Americans, but what is their actual spot? 8th? 5th? The number one killer of Americans is heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. Number 4 is strokes, another heart disease. Cancer is the most thought of, but it is actually in 2nd. What is dangerous about not knowing this is, that unlike cancer, you have a short window to get to the hospital to minimize the damage done by a heart attack. It has been estimated that 80% of deaths caused by heart attacks and strokes were avoidable, but the victim didn’t go to the hospital because they didn’t know the symptoms that were killing them.

The signs of a stroke are pretty universal in both sexes. They can be remembered with the acronym F.A.S.T.

  1. Face. Try to make exaggerated face motions, super smiles and frowns. Does one side droop?
  2. Arms. Try to raise your arms above your head. Is one of your arms drifting downwards?
  3. Speech. Try to say a simple phrase like ,”The quick brown fox jumped over the log”. Is your speech slurred or impaired?
  4. Time. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms call 9-1-1.

National Wear Red Day is the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s way of fighting back. On the first Friday of every February, they have their volunteers and anyone else that wants to wear red clothing. By having such a public presence, they are hoping to have people learn more about what affects their ticker. While this is targeted towards women with cardiovascular diseases, it is used as a fundraiser to drive research that will help everyone.

While the 3rd is just Wear Red Day, February is The American Heart Month. Visit the Wear Red page for more information about what you can do this month to help raise awareness.

Winter Sickness Prevention


You aren’t doomed to get the sniffles or the flu every winter. There are steps and precautions that you can take to keep yourself and the people around you safe.


  • Vaccinate! We cannot stress how important it is for you to get yourself vaccinated. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for those that can’t. In order to prevent the flu from spreading, approximately 85% of the population at a minimum needs to be vaccinated. Get vaccinated for the people that have adverse reactions or conditions that prevent them from helping get that critical mass up.
  • Wash your hands often, making sure to do so before eating or cooking.
  • Sleep in. Not getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night hurts your immune system and makes you more susceptible to infections.
  • GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. Eat healthy, balanced meals to get the best performance and protection.
  • Exercising. Getting active can actually stimulate the immune system and help build a better defense line.


Already sick?

  •  Gargling salt water can help a sore throat and a humidifier may help a stuffed nose
  • Limit your contact with other people. Cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough. Don’t share drinks or food with other people.
  • Drink water. Be hydrated and get your rest. While doing so avoid coffee and alcohol, which will dehydrate you.
  • See a doctor. By starting a treatment early, you can be decreasing the time you will have the cold and lessen symptoms so you can get back at it.


Flu Vaccination-Give it a Shot!

Flu season is here! It’s that time of year where many people start to consider getting a flu vaccination. Unfortunately, many people will take on the flu season without getting vaccinated. Here are a few reasons why you SHOULD get vaccinated for the flu:

Getting vaccinated will:

  • reduce your risk of getting the flu.
  • lessen the severity of the flu if you happen to get it.
  • protect those who cannot get vaccinated due to age and diseases.

In the past, the flu vaccination was available by injection or nasal mist. However, experts are advising to avoid the mist this season as it has very low effectiveness. This is of very high concern and many distributors are not even selling it and clinics are not ordering it. They recommend to stick with the shot.

This video is of Dr. Barbara Matthees explaining why the MSUM School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership requires the flu vaccination.

Getting vaccinated not only protects yourself, but everyone around you, too. Be proactive and get your flu shot today!



August is National Immunization Awareness Month!


Immunizations are a vital tool for preventing dangerous diseases around the world. Vaccinations are the best way to prevent these harmful diseases and keep yourself and those around you safe. National Immunization Awareness Month is a great time to remind friends, family, coworkers, and others around you to keep up to date on their shots. Several common vaccinations require booster shots after a number of years. Speak with your primary doctor to be sure you are up to date. Vaccinations are not just for children, they are a great benefit to people of all ages and it is never too late to get vaccinated.

If you are an adult or teenager looking to be vaccinated visit the link below to see the vaccines recommended for you.

If you are looking to vaccinate your child visit the link below to see the recommended vaccinations.

If you are an adult who would like to see if your vaccinations are up to date the link below can help you out.

If you or someone you know is pregnant visit the link below to see the recommended vaccination schedule for the duration of the pregnancy and after childbirth.

Remember to vaccinate yourself and your children, don’t forget to remind others around you to get vaccinated and stay up to date to keep dangerous disease at bay and work towards a healthier planet!


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