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Health Center

Ebola Virus Outbreak In West Africa

Dear Simmons Community:

The outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa has attracted worldwide attention, and both international and local public health authorities are doing their best to stop the spread of the infection. The Boston Public Health Commission has responded by taking a number of precautions, including asking Boston-area colleges and universities to reach out to students, faculty, and staff returning from affected regions to discuss their travel histories and risk of Ebola exposure.

At this time, it is unlikely that Boston will be directly affected by Ebola, but the Simmons College Emergency Response Team is monitoring the outbreak and its significance for the Simmons community and will remain in contact with local public health authorities.

We are not aware of any Simmons community members who have traveled with college-sponsored programs or on their own to any of the countries involved in the Ebola outbreak, but if you have traveled to any of the affected regions within 21 days of your return to campus (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone or Nigeria), please contact the Health Center as soon as possible at 617-521-1020 to have a phone discussion about your recent trip.  In the evening (5:00 pm-9:00 pm) or on the weekend (9:00 am-9:00 pm), please call 617-730-3138 and ask for the Health Center staff member on call.

Ebola virus can only be contracted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of someone who is ill with Ebola, or through direct contact with infected animals. Unlike influenza, it cannot be transmitted through airborne exposure. The incubation period for the virus (the time between exposure and the development of symptoms) can be as long as 21 days.  During the incubation period, people are not contagious.  There are currently no known cases of Ebola infection in the United States.

For more information about Ebola, please see the Simmons Health Center website  and the CDC website which provides a question and answer page, and more comprehensive information.

Kay Petersen, MD
Director, Simmons College Health Center

Health Center Summer Hours

To reach the medical staff on-call for urgent care when the Health Center is closed, contact Public Safety at 617-521-1112

Beginning Monday, May 12, 2014 the Health Center will be open for appointments on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Call Monday — Friday, to schedule an appointment or to leave a message for non- urgent matters at 617-521-1002

The flu vaccine is the best protection against getting and spreading the flu.

The Flu and You:
Influenza viruses are always changing, so an annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. Even in otherwise healthy people, flu can cause 5 — 7 days of aches and fever that interfere with work and school. For those at a higher risk of developing complications from getting the flu-- young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain health conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease or a weakened immune system - getting a flu shot is especially important.

What are symptoms of the flu?
The symptoms of the flu typically include abrupt onset of fever and chills, a non productive cough, sore throat, aching muscles, runny nose and possibly a headache.

How is the flu spread?
The influenza virus is spread through the air from the respiratory tract of an infected person. It is also transmitted by direct contact with respiratory droplets. An infected person is likely to spread the virus one to two days before the onset of their symptoms and up to four or five days after symptoms begin.

How to prevent getting and spreading the flu?
The best way to prevent getting the flu each year is with a flu vaccine. Some additional steps to prevent its spread are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer especially after coughing or sneezing.
  • If you have symptoms, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue. Discard the tissue after use and wash your hands.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Virus can be spread this way.
  • If you do get the flu, stay home and avoid contact with others for at least 24 hours after the fever has ended.

Call us @ 617-521-1020 if you have any questions or would like more information.

About the Health Center

The Health Center, which is located on the Simmons Residence Campus, offers health care to Simmons undergraduate and graduate students, and is a provider of health services to students at other area colleges as well. Services are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day during the academic year either at the Center, or when the Center is closed, by telephone contact with the provider on call. Some services are also available in the summer. Call the Health Center at 617-521-1002 for information about summer hours.

The Simmons health center is staffed by registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physicians. All physicians are Board Certified and have appointments at Harvard Medical School and at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, which is directly across the street from the Simmons residence campus.

The detailed information on this site will tell you about Health Center hours of operation, services available and how to receive after hours care, as well as information on immunizations and insurance. The staff at the Health Center welcomes the opportunity to answer your questions and concerns. Call us at 617-521-1002.

Student Health 101 Digital Health Magazine

Student Health 101 is a FREE monthly health and wellness magazine just for Simmons students. Each issue contains valuable information and resources that will help you make better health choices as you navigate an exciting academic year. Plus you could enter to win $1000 each month!


Call ahead to make an appointment. Same day appointments are available for urgent care.

During the academic year, the Health Center is open during the following hours:

Monday - Friday:
9:00am to 5:00pm

Closed Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays

To contact a health provider after hours for urgent care call Simmons Public Safety at 617-521-1112

Call the Health Center for hours during vacations and holidays, and during the summer months


Residence Campus
Health Center
94 Pilgrim Road
Boston, MA 02215


Phone: 617-521-1002

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