Student Health Blog

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Studying Abroad- Health Concerns

student studying abroad

Summer has arrived! You’ve got three months of glorious sunshine and no classes ahead of you. Well, most of you don’t have to worry about studying. For the rest, summer classes are approaching fast. For the most lucky group, you’re packing your bags and preparing to set off to a foreign country.

Studying abroad is one of the greatest opportunities you’ll have in college. If you’re setting off on a study abroad adventure this summer, you’ll want to be completely ready.

Before you step into the unknown, make sure you are physically and mentally ready. Your health probably isn’t your first concern while you plan your trip, but it should be on your mind.

Think about these health related issues before you leave so you won’t have to panic if a medical issue arises while you’re abroad:

1. Wellness

You may not have convenient access to doctors or pharmacies in your destination. Visit your physician for a general checkup before you leave. You never know how the traveling conditions will affect your physical and mental health, so it’s a good idea to discuss possible challenges with your doctor.

If you take prescription medicine, you’ll need to talk to your doctor about the chances of getting that medicine while you’re abroad or if you are even allowed to take that medicine with you. You may need to bring extra doses of over the counter medicine, since other countries don’t always have the same medicines available.

2. Immunizations

Your study abroad program will give you information about immunizations and health records that you need. The CDC traveler’s site has a complete and accurate list so you know you are fully prepared to travel. You’re responsible for having current immunizations. If you’re not sure, a blood test is a convenient way to check on your immunizations. Some countries require HIV tests before travel.

3. Health Insurance

We hope you don’t break a leg or come down with the flu while you’re studying abroad, but we know it happens occasionally! You need special overseas medical insurance to protect yourself from health issues. Your program or school should provide you information about affordable plans that you’ll get before you leave and discontinue when you’re back.

Get Ready for the Time of Your Life!

You have so many details to plan before you hop on the plane, but your health is important. Focusing on your health will help you have an awesome experience- when you don’t have to worry about health and safety issues, you can focus on learning and exploring your new environment!

Planning to study abroad and need to be tested?

Call ARCpoint Labs in Lawrence today.


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Want to know a little bit more about herpes? Well – second-hand that is?

Here’s some random info that you may not have realized:


What is herpes?

First things first – herpes is an STD. The CDC defines it as:

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2).

HSV-1 is oral herpes (sores on the mouth and lips)

HSV-2 is genital herpes (sores below waist – around genitals or rectum) (*most common form)

Herpes can be transmitted by direct contact (often sexual.) It may also be transmitted by kissing or swapping saliva. Even if sores are not present, the disease can still be transmitted.

How Common is Herpes?

The CDC says:

  • 1 out of 5 women have HSV-2 (age 14-49)
  • 1 out of 9 men have HSV-2 (age 14-49)
  • Over the past decade, the percentage of persons with genital herpes infection in the United States has remained stable.

Also,  it’s more common for a man to give a woman herpes than vice-versa.

Popular Areas for Herpes?

Although herpes is a nationwide problem – take a look at the top cities for herpes:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Chicago
  4. Milwaukee
  5. Newark
  6. St. Louis

(Take a look at all 15 cities on the herpes list from 2012!)

Is it the End of the World If You Get Herpes?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes. Although symptoms may not always be present, the herpes virus will always live in your body. It can lie dormant for many years but be triggered from time to time.

Sores will appear – the goal is getting them to dry up and disappear.

But – even if you do have herpes – it’s not the end of the world. It’s so common, many people out live with this STD and find ways to manage it.

We recommend that the first step you take is finding out for sure if you have herpes. If you’ve been sexually active, especially with multiple partners, this needs to be a test you receive routinely.

If you do end up having it, inform your sexual partners. You will also want to work with your physician to receive advice on treating and managing the virus. Especially if you become pregnant.

Is herpes the end of the world? No. But do what you can from causing it to enter someone else’s.

Need an STD test? Concerned you have herpes? Come into ARCpoint Labs of Lawrence, KS to get your herpes STD test.