Health Topics

Influenza or Flu

Symptoms of the flu typically include some combination or all of the following:

  • A 100°F or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (very tired)
  • Some people may experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults

If you exhibit these symptoms, you should be careful to distinguish between the flu and the common cold. Generally, flu symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu than the cold.

In addition to getting your flu shot, there are simple, everyday actions to can take to prevent you and others from getting the flu.
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue handy, try to cough or sneeze into your elbow or arm instead of your palms.
Wash your hands often with warm soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as you can. Germs spread this way.
If you believe you have the flu, stay home from work and classes to avoid spreading the virus. Your friends, classmates, and professors will thank you for it! Rest up too. Your body is only able to ward off the virus if your immune system is strong, and a lack of sleep can weaken your immune system. Make it a priority to eat well, too. A proper amount of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as drinks like tea and orange juice, can only help your body keep illness at bay.

More information:

The Common Cold

Student Self-Care: Upper Respiratory Infections (aka cold or flu)

Upper respiratory infections like the common cold and the flu are known for spreading from student to student around campus. Unfortunately, they are caused by viruses, so a doctor’s visit for antibiotics won’t be much help.

Did you know?

  • Most colds and flu don’t require a doctor’s care.
  • Antibiotics will not help a sore throat if it’s not strep.
  • It’s normal to have a stuffy nose for up to 10 days.
  • Most colds last 10 days, but you may have symptoms for considerably longer.
  • The average cough lasts 17 days! (antibiotics don’t help with that either),
  • Thick, yellow-green nasal discharge is common with a cold and in most people will resolve without antibiotics.
  • Current guidelines recommend waiting at least 7-10 days before considering antibiotics for sinus infections.
  • You can significantly reduce your chances of getting sick in the first place. Check out how »

    In most cases, the only thing you can do for a bad cold is rest as much as possible and soothe your symptoms

    Other Drugs


    Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

    Your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) is the percentage of your blood volume that is alcohol. The more you drink, the more your BAC increases. As BAC increases, alcohol's effects become less pleasant and more dangerous.

    Wisconsin defines legal intoxication for purposes of driving as having a BAC of 0.08 or greater, in most cases. But alcohol may affect driving skills at BACs of 0.05 or even lower.

    Remember, the only thing that can decrease your BAC is time–– not coffee or cold showers. Eating food during or shortly after drinking will only delay the speed at which the alcohol enters your bloodstream or your BAC reaches its peak level.

    Check your own BAC by...

    • Setting a limit before you start drinking. More is not always better.
    • Eating before you drink. Sandwich anyone?
    • Choosing drinks with lower alcohol concentrations. Stick to the beer.
    • Alternating a glass of water with each drink. Order it with your drink.
    • Knowing when you've had enough. Enjoy the buzz.


    Other Resources:

    State of Wisconsin and Madison Laws

    Alcohol Policies at Edgewood College

    Wisconsin DOT BAC Calculator

    Madison PD Policies and Fines

    STI or Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    Prevent Sexually Transmitted Diseases

    Nearly half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) diagnosed each year are among young people aged 15–24 years. Women can have long term effects of these diseases, including pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, tubal scarring, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain. About 1 in 4 (26 percent) of all new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24 years. About 4 in 5 of these infections occur in males.

    Quick Tips:

    • If you are a sexually active female aged 25 years or younger, get tested every year for chlamydia. If left untreated, chlamydia can affect your ability to have children.
    • If you are diagnosed with an STD, notify your sex partners so they can be tested and receive treatment if needed. If your sex partner is diagnosed with an STD, you need to be evaluated, tested, and treated.
    • The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs, including HIV infection, are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.
    • Latex male and female condoms, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of some STDs.

    Sexually Transmitted Infections Resources for Testing and Treatment

    More Information:

    STD Facts:


    Wisconsin Tobacco QuitLine


    UPDATE: November 2, 2016

    Important Information on Meningitis

    • Three UW-Madison students are recovering from meningococcal disease.  
    • One of the cases has had contact with Edgewood College students. Public health officials do not believe that increases the risk to our students at this time.  However, since many of our students either live with or interact socially with UW students, we need to be cautious.
    • Meningitis is rare, often comes on suddenly, and can progress and become deadly within hours.
    • Most students are protected against serogroups ACYW, but few are vaccinated against serogroup B.

    Your Next Steps

    • Health Services recommends that undergraduate students at Edgewood College consider getting vaccinated against meningococcal disease serogroup B, especially those living in the residence halls. Freshmen living in residence halls are at the highest risk of contracting the disease compared to other groups.
    • The vaccine is typically covered by insurance.
    • The vaccine is a series of two to three doses that protects against meningitis serogroup B.
    • Do not share drinking cups or eating utensils

    Know the symptoms

    • sudden onset of fever
    • headache
    • stiff neck
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • increased sensitivity to light
    • confusion

    How do I get Immunized?

    Health insurance plans DO typically cover the cost of the necessary vaccine, and Health Services has both Bexsero and Trumemba on hand. 

    • WPS student health insurance plan members:  Your vaccine is 100% covered at Health Services, 2nd floor Predolin. 
    • Get the vaccine at Health Services. The cost ($170) will be charged to your student account and you will be provided with a receipt to submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement. We suggest calling your health insurance provider to verify coverage first.  You will need to provide them with the following codes:  Diagnosis Z23, ICD10 90620, NPI 1487853933. 
    • Get the vaccine at your primary doctor's office. 
    • Get the vaccine at Walgreens on East Campus Drive.  Their number is 251-0042.  If you provide them with your insurance plan info, they are able to verify coverage over the phone if you call before you go. They have plenty of vaccine in stock and most insurance plans have been covering it.  We have been told by Group Health (GHC) that their members must see a GHC provider to determine necessity of coverage. 

    Uninsured students may be eligible for free vaccination through Dane County Public Health.  Their number is 266-4821.

    • If you are age 18 or younger
    • If you are age 19 or older, and you have a serious health condition

    Students that share a residence with a UW-Madison student may get vaccinated for free through Dane County Public Health.  Call 266-4821 to schedule.

      What is meningitis?

      Meninigitis—inflammation of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord—can be caused by both bacteria and viruses. A serious form is caused by the meningococcal bacteria. Meningococcal bacteria are spread through close contact with an infected person’s oral or nasal secretions, such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing tobacco products. It’s very rare, often comes on suddenly, and can progress rapidly. Meningococcal disease is typically treated with antibiotics.

      I already got meningitis shots from my doctor at home as a teenager.  Do I still need to get a meningitis B vaccination?

      Most likely. Most students are immunized against serogroup ACYW but not against serogroup B. Serogroup B vaccine has only recently become available and is not routinely recommended, although most outbreaks in recent years have been of the serogroup B type.

      I am not a student, should I get the vaccine?

      Health Services recommends that all undergraduate students consider being vaccinated against meningococcal disease serogroup B. Persons with conditions that compromise their immunity, especially persons who have complement component deficiencies are encouraged to get the vaccine.

      If you are an adult employee of the College over the age of 26, you are not considered in a high risk group and do not need the vaccine. Employees under the age of 26 can talk with a provider about the nature of their contact with students to decide if the vaccine is need.

      If I already got one dose at home of the meningitis B vaccine (either Bexsero or Trumenba), can I get the remaining dose(s) at Health Services?

      Yes, we offer both vaccines to complete your vaccine series. The two vaccine products cannot be interchanged. It is important that we receive your prior records so that we can verify the proper vaccine and dosage timing. Please bring in your immunization records when you come for the shot. The Wisconsin Immunization Registry contains records for children and adults who were vaccinated in the state of Wisconsin.

      How do I handle the second dose if I got my first dose from my provider at home?

      It’s a good idea to get documentation of any immunizations you have been given for your personal health records. 

      Where can I get additional information?

      You can contact us at You can also call us at 608.663.8334

      For more information about meningitis, check out the  CDC meningitis fact sheet.


      Health Services is located in Dominican Hall 123 (on first floor).
      Please use the lakeside entrance- facing Lake Wingra and the Siena Apartments

      Campus Map
      Map to The Wellness Center

      Scheduling Appointments

      For scheduling assistance, please email

      The nurse practitioner has availability on Mondays and Wednesdays by appointment.

      If you are experiencing a medical emergency or a personal counseling crisis, please call 911.