Communicable diseases are infections that can be spread from person to person. Universities, with so many people living and working in close contact with each other, are often places where communicable diseases are more common.
On a population level, University Health Services works in close collaboration with campus and community colleagues to prevent, identify, and contain communicable disease.
On an individual level, UHS is here to help with diagnosis and treatment and to provide support during your illness.
Communicable Disease Prevention
The best way to manage an infectious disease outbreak is to prevent it.
Prevention starts with the UO immunization and tuberculosis risk assessment requirements. A population with high levels of community immunity makes our campus a safer place for all of us. UHS provides all the required and highly recommended vaccinations, and others. If you need a vaccination, please call 541-346-2770 or visit the MyUOHealth portal to schedule an immunization consult.
Staying up to date with recommended vaccinations every year is another highly effective way to protect yourself and our campus. Make sure to get your flu vaccine each year in the fall to protect yourself.
You can reduce your risk for infectious disease by practicing good risk reduction strategies, like hand hygiene, covering your cough/sneeze, and by staying home and/or wearing a mask while you are having sick. Staying connected with UHS social media (@HealthyUO) will help you be aware when certain communicable diseases are prevalent on campus.
Communicable Disease Diagnosis and Support
Students who are experiencing symptoms of a communicable disease are encouraged to call UHS at 541-346-2770 to schedule an appointment or speak with a triage nurse. Appointments in the Acute Care Clinic are also available through the myUOHealth portal.
If you are diagnosed with a communicable disease, our medical team will provide education, treatment, and clinical monitoring.
Additionally, UHS has a team in place called the Public Health Peer Health Navigator Team. This team provides support and education, connects students to resources, and helps students navigate isolation and quarantine and safely access food and bathrooms.
The Counseling Services team also provides mental health support should the student need it as they are going through the communicable disease process.
Communicable Disease Reporting
University Health Services complies with Oregon state law, which requires reporting certain infections to the Lane County Public Health Department so they can provide support and prevent outbreaks. More information on which infections are reported is available from Lane County Public Health.
Communicable Disease Outbreak Response
Under the leadership of our executive director and medical director, UHS is responsible for communicable disease response for the University of Oregon. We work closely with our local public health department to monitor local, statewide, and nationwide trends to make sure we have protocols and plans in place to protect our campus.
If we do experience an outbreak, UHS can alert the UO Incident Management Team and develop a coordinated and comprehensive plan to inform, educate, and control the outbreak.