Student Health

The College conforms to the American College Health Association's recommended standards for confidentiality of information pertaining to the medical situation of employees and students as presented in the Recommended Standards for a College Health Program, 4th edition, 1984. These standards include: ". . . no specific detailed information concerning complaints or diagnosis to be provided to faculty, administrators, or even parents without the expressed written permission of the patient in each case. This position with respect to health records is supported by amendment to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974." Although Eastern Florida State College does not REQUIRE vaccination against COVID-19, meningococcal disease or Hepatitis B for students, EFSC strongly encourages everyone attending the College to be aware of the symptoms, risk factors, preventative measures, and treatment for these diseases. Health Sciences students should contact Health Sciences with questions regarding immunization requirements for clinical affiliates within the health sciences programs.

Counseling / EFSCares

EFSCares is a free, student assistance program available to all part- and full-time enrolled students. As part of a college partnership with GEE Resolutions Counseling & Behavioral Health, EFSCares provides student assistance which may include one-on-one counseling, other behavioral health services, and/or referrals. Any enrolled EFSC student can access the EFSCares services, by calling the GEE Resolutions telephone number, 321-631-8569 and identifying themselves as an EFSC student. Once you call, the GEE Resolutions staff will connect you with a trained professional who will assess your personal situation and schedule an appointment, provide referrals, and/or support as appropriate. EFSC students receiving counseling services could receive up to six free individual counseling sessions per year. Counseling sessions are expected to be time limited and designed to provide students with short-term, solution-focused problem solving through coaching, guidance and support as well as the development of an action plan and recommendations for further intervention, when appropriate. Counseling services are arranged by GEE Resolution and will take place at their office within the community or virtually, unless otherwise arranged by GEE Resolutions. EFSC does not track your individual information. This is a private, confidential service to help you when you need it most. For additional information, contact the GEE Resolutions staff at 321-631-8569, or contact the EFSC Student Assistance Program Liaison, Emily Tonn, MA, LMHC at 321-433-7715 or tonne@easternflorida.edu.

COVID-19

College officials continue to cautiously yet optimistically reopen EFSC campuses and classrooms guided by the four-phase reopening plan (https://www.easternflorida.edu/documents/efsc-covid-19-operations-plan.pdf)  that was approved June 15 by the Board of Trustees. Movement through the phases is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County and a team of faculty and staff members. The College's planning also includes a COVID tracking process web page for students, faculty and staff who are impacted by a positive COVID-19 test.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a virus that infects the liver. With this disease, signs and symptoms occur in about 30% to 50% of patients infected. Only 30% have jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes). Children under the age of five rarely have symptoms of hepatitis. When and if symptoms occur, patients may show signs of jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and joint pain. Some patients will become chronically infected with Hepatitis B. This will occur in up to 90% of children born to mothers who are infected, 30% of children infected at one to five years, and six percent of persons infected after age five. Death from chronic liver disease occurs in 15-25% of chronically infected persons - 1.2 million individuals are chronic carriers of Hepatitis B in the United States. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 5% of the world's populations are chronically infected with Hepatitis B. One million die from Hepatitis B worldwide each year. In the United States approximately 80 thousand become infected and approximately 3,000 die annually from Hepatitis B. Risk factors for Hepatitis B are individuals whom have multiple sex partners or diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases, sex contacts of infected persons, injection drug users, household contacts of chronically infected persons, infants born to infected mothers, infants/ children of immigrants from areas with high rates of Hepatitis B, some health care workers, and hemodialysis patients.

You should not be vaccinated with this vaccine if:

  • You have ever had a life threatening allergic reaction to baker's yeast (used to make bread)
  • You have ever had a severe allergic reaction to previous dose of Hepatitis vaccine
  • Or, you are moderately or severely ill at the time of a scheduled vaccine with Hepatitis B (you should wait until you recover from the condition).
  • Individuals who take these vaccines should have few if any side effects. These diseases are always much more severe than the vaccine. A few individuals may experience:
  • Soreness and/or redness where the shot was administered, lasting a day or two,
  • Mild to moderate fever, again lasting a day or two. Severe reaction is extremely rare!

Reference: CDC. General Recommendations on Immunization Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)-MMWR February 8, 2002 / 51(RR02);1-36 Immunization Action Coalition.

HIV, AIDS and Other Life-Threatening Diseases

When an employee or student becomes aware that he/she has a serious condition, such as HIV, AIDS or another life threatening communicable disease, the student or employee is encouraged to seek medical assistance and assistance from the College. Specific information relating to HIV or AIDS can be obtained by calling 1-800-FLA-AIDS.

Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal Disease can be classified into two categories, bacterial and viral meningitis. An acute bacterial disease, Meningococcal Disease is characterized by sudden symptoms of fever, intense headache, nausea and often vomiting, stiff neck and frequently a petechial (small purplish red spots) rash which may appear pink in color. Symptoms may mimic Influenza. Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 individuals are diagnosed with Meningococcal disease in the United States annually. Most cases seem to occur in the late winter to early spring. Although Meningococcal disease is primarily seen among very small children, this disease occurs commonly in children and young adults. College students particularly those who reside in dormitories may be at increased risk for Meningococcal disease. The general population may have an incidence of 1.1 per 100,000 while those students in dormitories have a rate of three to five cases per 100,000. Transmission occurs by direct contact, including droplets from the nose and throat of infected persons.

Viral meningitis is the most common type of meningitis, an inflammation of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord. It is often less severe than bacterial meningitis, and most people get better on their own (without treatment). However, it’s very important for anyone with symptoms of meningitis to see a healthcare provider right away because some types of meningitis can be very serious, and only a doctor can determine if you have the disease, the type of meningitis, and the best treatment, which can sometimes be lifesaving. Babies younger than 1 month old and people with weakened immune systems are more likely to have severe illness from viral meningitis.

The exchange of saliva by kissing, sharing of food utensils, and sharing cigarettes is the most common modes of transmission among college students. Before early diagnosis, modern therapy and supportive measures the death rate exceeded 50%. The vaccine is administered with one dose for individuals two years of age. The vaccine may be given to pregnant females. You should not be vaccinated with this vaccine if you have had a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of this vaccine or are mildly ill at the time of scheduled Meningococcal vaccine.

Smoking

Smoking of any tobacco products and electronic cigarettes are strictly prohibited within all College work areas, including conference rooms, classrooms, restrooms, stairwells and hallways. Smoking is not permitted at any of the clinical affiliate locations within the Health Science programs. Smoking is also prohibited in any vehicle (to include golf carts) the College owns, hires, or leases. Smoking on College property will only be allowed at designated smoking areas. Employees, students and visitors may use designated smoking areas only. Proper disposal of smoking material in the ash urns provided is required.