Current Health Topics & Updates

Stay healthy. Stay informed.

Check here for updates on current health topics and advisories to help keep you and your fellow Cougars healthy and safe.

Trending Health Topics


Timely and relevant information on health subjects that impact your well-being.
  • Reproductive Health Access

    We know that for many students, access to reproductive care is a concern for the upcoming school year. College of Charleston Student Health Services (SHS) will continue to offer individualized counseling to students based on their health care needs. We also work with community referral partners to connect you with needed medical resources or follow-up care. 

    Students can call Student Health Services at 843.953.5520 to consult with a medical provider.

    SHS offers pregnancy testing and gynecological care including screening for sexually transmitted infections and screening for cervical cancer (pap testing).

    SHS also provides contraceptive options to students at no cost if there is financial need. 

  • Monkeypox

    Monkeypox: What to Know 


    The College of Charleston is monitoring the monkeypox (MPX) outbreak that was first identified in May 2022. While the risk to the general public remains low, MPX is spreading in South Carolina as part of the current outbreak in the U.S.  

    Please refer to the following resources for the most up-to-date information about Monkeypox


    About Monkeypox 

    MPX is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Per the CDC, MPX symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus and can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, respiratory issues and a rash. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.  

    While the illness is usually mild, it can be painful and result in permanent scarring. Severe cases may occur in young children, pregnant people or people with suppressed immune systems (including those with HIV). 

    It is important to understand that anyone can get MPX. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the viral infection spreads largely through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the monkeypox rash. Other possible routes of transmission can include respiratory secretions and contact with contaminated personal items like clothing and linens.  

    At this time, certain populations are being affected by MPX outbreak more than others. To date, health officials have determined that MPX infections have mostly occurred in people who self-identify as men who have sex with men.  

    Prevention 

    The best way to avoid getting MPX is to be aware of the disease and how it is contracted and by following the below safe practices:  

    • Limit prolonged intimate encounters including but not limited to kissing, cuddling and sexual activity with people of unknown MPX risk history. 
    • Check potential intimate partners for blisters or skin rashes prior to intimate contact. 
    • Avoid intimate contact with people recently exposed to monkeypox or who were recently diagnosed with MPX. 
    • Be aware that MPX is currently spreading among people with multiple sex partners but can occur in anyone who has had direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs or body fluids. 
    • Avoid touching objects and fabrics (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the rash or body fluids of someone with monkeypox. 
    • Wear a face mask if you are in close contact with someone who has symptoms. 
    • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after coming into contact with those who are infected or are suspected of being infected.

    Vaccination 

    Vaccine availability : The College does not plan to offer the MPX vaccine on campus at this time. Currently South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has a limited supply of the vaccine that can treat MPX and is vaccinating only eligible individuals.

    Individuals can call the DHEC CareLine 855.472.3432 to find out if they are eligible to schedule an appointment. The vaccine is not recommended for the general public or healthcare workers right now.

    Students can call Student Health Services at 843.953.5520 if they have any questions or concerns related to monkeypox.

    Evaluation & Testing 

    If you think you have MPX symptoms, be sure to wear a mask and cover sores to protect others.

    Anyone with suspected skin or oral lesions should seek advice from their medical provider; students can reach out to Student Health Services to speak with a medical provider. 

    Contact Student Health Services at 843.953.5520 to schedule an appointment.  Student Health Services is prepared to test eligible individuals for MPX. 

    Treatment 

    There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections; however, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections. 

    Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems. 

    If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox. 

    Questions? 

    Students can call Student Health Services at 843.953.5520 to consult with a medical provider. 

  • COVID-19

    In alignment with CDC guidelines, the following resources and recommendations will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the College of Charleston campus.

    Steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19

    If you are sick:
    • Stay home, except to obtain medical care.
    • Separate yourself from others, including those in your home/living/sleeping space.
    • Wear a high-quality mask when around others.
    • Monitor your symptoms.
    • Take a COVID-19 test.

    If you test positive for COVID-19

    • Isolate for a minimum of five full days to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (day zero is the date of the positive test).
    • Wear a well-fitting mask in class or when around other people for days 6-10.
    •  
    • Refer to CDC guidelines for detailed instructions on what to do.
    • If you are high risk for severe illness, be sure to contact your healthcare provider.
      Complete the self-report form in order to be provided with dates for isolation and when you can safely return to campus. This form can be shared at the student’s discretion with faculty for the purpose of staying up to date on coursework.
    •  

    Campus Resources and Information

    Free COVID-19 Testing

    The College provides students with rapid, clinic-based COVID-19 testing at Student Health Services, Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. At-home COVID-19 test kits are widely available at pharmacies and are usually covered by your health insurance.

    IIf you would like a medical evaluation for COVID-19 or if you would like to receive free testing, call Student Health Services at 843.953.5520 for assistance.

    COVID-19 Vaccines

    COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in preventing severe infection. Visit the SCDHEC Vax Locator or vaccine.gov to locate vaccine options within the local community and throughout South Carolina. 

    Health Resources

    Students can contact Student Health Services at 843.953.5520, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Additionally, the Medical University of South Carolina currently offers 24/7 virtual care to College of Charleston students at no or minimal cost.