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Santa Monica College|Student Services|Student Health Services Center|News and Announcements

News and Announcements

Welcome back to school for Fall 2016!

The SMC Student Health Services is here to assist you!


Zika Virus

Spread through mosquito bites. Most common symptoms are: rash, fever, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

For more information check out the CDC webpage

Recommended immunizations for the Zika Virus

California Department of Public Health

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

Center for Disease Control

World Health Organization

LA County Department of Public Health

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


What is measles?

Measles is an infectious viral disease that occurs most often in the late winter and spring. It begins with a fever that lasts for a couple of days, followed by a cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). A rash starts on the face and upper neck, spreads down the back and trunk, then extends to the arms and hands, as well as the legs and feet. After about 5 days, the rash fades the same order in which it appeared.

How can I catch measles?

Measles is highly contagious. Infected people are usually contagious from about 4 days before their rash starts to 4 days afterwards. The measles virus resides in the mucus in the nose and throat of infected people. When they sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air and the droplets remain active and contagious on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours.

How serious is the disease?

Measles itself is unpleasant, but the complications are dangerous. Six to 20 percent of the people who get the disease will get an ear infection, diarrhea, or even pneumonia. One out of 1000 people with measles will develop inflammation of the brain, and about one out of 1000 will die.

Why is vaccination necessary?

In the decade before the measles vaccination program began, an estimated 3–4 million persons in the United States were infected each year, of whom 400–500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and another 1,000 developed chronic disability from measles encephalitis. Widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles cases in the United States compared with the pre-vaccine era.

However, measles is still common in other countries. The virus is highly contagious and can spread rapidly in areas where vaccination is not widespread. It is estimated that in 2006 there were 242,000 measles deaths worldwide—that equals about 663 deaths every day or 27 deaths every hour. If vaccinations were stopped, measles cases would return to pre-vaccine levels and hundreds of people would die from measles-related illnesses.

Is measles still a problem in the United States?

We still see measles among visitors to the United States and among U.S. travelers returning from other countries. The measles viruses these travelers bring into our country sometimes cause outbreaks; however, because most people in the United States have been vaccinated, these outbreaks are usually small.

In the last decade, measles vaccination in the United States has decreased the number of cases to the lowest point ever reported. Widespread use of the measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles compared with the decade before the measles vaccination program began, when an estimated 3–4 million persons in the United States were infected each year, 400–500 died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and another 1,000 developed chronic disability from measles encephalitis.

If the chance of the diseases is so low, why do I need the vaccine?

It is true that vaccination has enabled us to reduce measles and most other vaccine-preventable diseases to very low levels in the United States. However, measles is still very common—even epidemic—in other parts of the world. Visitors to our country and unvaccinated U.S. travelers returning from other countries can unknowingly bring (import) measles into the United States. Since the virus is highly contagious, such imported cases can quickly spread, causing outbreaks or epidemics among unvaccinated people and under-vaccinated communities.

To protect your children, yourself, and others in the community, it is important to be vaccinated against measles. You may think your chance of getting measles is small, but the disease still exists and can still infect anyone who is not protected.

What kind of vaccine is given to prevent measles?

The MMR vaccine prevents measles and 2 other viral diseases—mumps and rubella. These 3 vaccines are safe given together. MMR is an attenuated (weakened) live virus vaccine. This means that after injection, the viruses grows and causes a harmless infection in the vaccinated person with very few, if any, symptoms. The person's immune system fights the infection caused by these weakened viruses and immunity develops which lasts throughout that person’s life.

How effective is MMR vaccine?

More than 95% of the people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to all 3 viruses. A second vaccine dose gives immunity to almost all of those who did not respond to the first dose.


Why is MMR vaccine given after the first birthday?

Most infants born in the United States will receive passive protection against measles, mumps, and rubella in the form of antibodies from their mothers. These antibodies can destroy the vaccine virus if they are present when the vaccine is given and, thus, can cause the vaccine to be ineffective. By 12 months of age, almost all infants have lost this passive protection.

What is the best age to give the second dose of MMR vaccine?

The second dose of MMR can be given at any time, as long as the child is at least 12 months old and it has been at least 28 days since the first dose. However, the second dose is usually administered before the child begins kindergarten or first grade (4-5 years of age) or before entry to middle school (11-12 years of age). The age at which the second dose is required is generally mandated by state school entry requirements.

As an adult, do I need the MMR vaccine?

You do not need the MMR vaccine if you

  • had blood tests that show you are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella

  • are someone born before 1957

  • already had two doses of MMR or one dose of MMR plus a second dose of measles vaccine

  • already had one dose of MMR and are not at high risk of measles exposure

You should get the measles vaccine if you are not among the categories listed above, and

  • are a college student, trade school student, or other student beyond high school

  • work in a hospital or other medical facility

  • travel internationally, or are a passenger on a cruise ship

  • are women of childbearing age

Do people who received MMR in the 1960s need to have their dose repeated?

Not necessarily. People who have documentation of receiving LIVE measles vaccine in the 1960s do not need to be revaccinated. People who were vaccinated prior to 1968 with either inactivated (killed) measles vaccine or measles vaccine of unknown type should be revaccinated with at least one dose of live attenuated measles vaccine. This recommendation is intended to protect those who may have received killed measles vaccine, which was available in 1963-1967 and was not effective.

Why are people born before 1957 exempt from receiving MMR vaccine?

People born before 1957 lived through several years of epidemic measles before the first measles vaccine was licensed. As a result, these people are very likely to have had the measles disease. Surveys suggest that 95% to 98% of those born before 1957 are immune to measles. Note: The "1957 rule" applies only to measles and mumps—it does NOT apply to rubella.

Precautions and Possible Reactions

I am 2 months pregnant. Is it safe for me to have my 15-month-old child vaccinated with the MMR vaccine?

Yes. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine viruses are not transmitted from the vaccinated person, so MMR does not pose a risk to a pregnant household member.

I am breast feeding my 2-month-old baby. Is it safe for me to receive the MMR vaccine?

Yes. Breast feeding does not interfere with the response to MMR vaccine, and your baby will not be affected by the vaccine through your breast milk.

My 15-month-old child was exposed to chickenpox yesterday. Is it safe for him to receive the MMR vaccine today?

Yes. Disease exposure, including chickenpox, should not delay anyone from receiving the benefits of the MMR or any other vaccine.

What is the most common reaction following MMR vaccine?

Most people have no reaction. However, 5-10 percent of the people receiving the MMR vaccine experience a low-grade fever and a mild rash.



Affordable Care Act

Health Insurance Market Place:


West Nile Virus: FAQS

What is West Nile Virus (WNV)?

West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans and pets through the bite of an infected mosquito. Infected mosquitos become WNV carriers after they feed on infected birds. WNV is not spread by contact/touch or kissing and or breathing the same air as an infected person.


Symptoms can develop 3-14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms may vary and include fever, body aches, rash, nausea, vomiting, headache and sometimes swollen lymph glands, a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms may last for few days. Some infected people may not develop any symptoms at all and can go undiagnosed. On rare occasions, severe cases may cause central nervous symptoms.


Mild symptoms do not require any treatment. More severe symptoms require medical intervention including hospitalization.


  • Avoid areas that might be mosquito-prone at dawn and dusk.

  • Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.

  • Use insect repellent (should contain DEET) before going outdoors.

  • Empty all outside standing water containers i.e. neglected swimming pools, ponds, pet water dishes, pots, birdbaths, etc.

  • Repair and replace window and door screen to keep mosquitos out.

  • Report dead birds and squirrels to the West Nile Virus and Dead Bird Hotline at 1 877 968 2473

  • Get informed and get more information from Centre for disease control at and for California at

Ebola Virus Information

EVD (Ebola VIrus Disease) is transmitted through direct contact with infected secretions such as saliva, vomit, diarrhea and blood of an infected individual. Transmission can also occur via contact with tears, sweat, urine and or touching contaminated objects like needles; touching or feeding from contaminated meat products, touching infected animals, their blood or other body fluids. It is not airborne or spread by droplets eg sneezing, coughing etc Only patients who are sick with the disease or show signs of being ill with the disease (symptomatic) are contagious and can therefore transmit the virus to others via their secretions. EV incubation period is 2-21 days with most of the individuals becoming symptomatic in 8-10 days.


  • Sudden fever, often as high as 103*-105*

  • Intense weakness, sore throat and headache

  • Profuse vomiting and diarrhea usually occur 1-2 days after the above mentioned symptoms.

  • More severe symptoms can occur 24-48hours

  • Bleeding from nasal and or oral cavities, with hemorrhagic skin blisters, renal failure and multisystem organ failure can aggressively progress in 3-5 days.


Supportive care and isolation is the only available treatment at this time. For more information check out the Center for Disease website at: The World Health Organization Ebola information can be found at:


  • Frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing.

  • Avoid contact with blood and or body fluids/secretions generally and especially/primarily with infected individuals.

  • Avoid contact with animals (bats, non human primates), infected animals (infected animals raw meat) or consuming meat product from infected animals.

  • Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected individuals blood or body fluids/secretions.

  • Do not touch the dead body of an individual who has died from EV.

  • Seek medical care immediately if you develop the prior mentioned symptoms and limit your contact with others until you are seen by a Medical Doctor.

  • Avoid nonessential travel to Ebola prone areas and or areas where EVD is occurring. Receive up to date information on the specified countries at

Sites to check out for more information:


Health Services Will Be Closed on These Dates:


  • 09-05-2016 For Labor Day

  • 11-11-2016 Veterans Day

  • 11-24-2016 and 11-25-2016 Thanksgiving

  • 12-23-2016 to 01-02-2017 Winter Break

  • 01-16-2017 Martin Luther King Day

  • 02-10-2017 and 02-20-2017 Lincoln's Day and Presidents Day

  • 03-16-2017 Flex Day

  • 04-10-2017 to 04-14-2017 Spring Break

  • 05-29-2017 Memorial Day

  • 07-04-2017 Independence Day

Summer and Winter Hours Please Call the Health Office 310-434-4262

Fall Session Hours Tentatively Will Be as Follows:

  • Monday Through Thursday 7:30am to 6pm.

  • Friday 7:30am to 2:30pm

  • Student Health Services Closed on Saturday and Sunday.

  • For TB (MANTOUX) Test Hours Call Us at 310-434-4262 During Business Hours

Any questions or concerns, please call us at 310-434-4262 during business hours.

For Any Emergency, Call Campus Police At 310-434-4300.