September 28, 2020

Published: September 29, 2020 2:08 pm

Gators Fight Flu

Schedule your flu shot appointment through SHCC portal

While a flu shot will not protect against COVID-19, it can play an important role in keeping you, your family and your friends healthy. To make this year’s process as easy and convenient as possible while allowing for physical distancing, the UF Student Health Care Center has established a scheduling portal where faculty and staff can select from a variety of appointment times and locations.

If you are unable to find a time that works for you, you’re encouraged to visit the portal again in the future, as more dates and times will be added. If you live outside of Gainesville or if you prefer to get your flu shot through your provider or at another eligible location, you may do so through your private insurance at no cost to you. UF Health is also providing flu shots at no cost to those who currently do not have coverage.

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2020 UF Campaign for Charities runs through Oct. 16

gators give heart logoBoth locally and throughout the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to job losses and an increased need for food assistance, emergency shelter, mental health counseling, substance abuse intervention and more. Our local charities are struggling to meet an increased demand for services while their critical fundraising events have been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Although we may feel helpless against the increasing challenges of 2020, there is something you can do to help: Make a gift through the UFCC to help 100 area charities that are making a difference. This year’s campaign runs from Sept. 28 through Oct. 16, and you can donate by making a gift via payroll deduction, check, cash or credit card to a specific agency or agencies, or by making an undesignated gift that supports all agencies participating in this year’s UFCC.

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GatorWATCH: Protecting campus through wastewater analysis

GatorWATCH wastewater sensorAt testing sites around the University of Florida, students, staff and faculty get swabbed to check for potential COVID-19 infections. Beneath their feet, another testing system churns away, collecting samples through devices like the one pictured at right to search for the virus in UF’s wastewater.

A team of public health, microbiology and environmental toxicology experts, partnering with medical and facilities personnel, created GatorWATCH, which stands for Wastewater Analysis and Tracking for Community Health. GatorWATCH monitors wastewater from 28 UF residence halls, campus apartment complexes and fraternity/sorority houses that empty into UF’s wastewater treatment infrastructure, alerting UF Health Screen, Test & Protect when the virus is detected.

So far, the residences where the virus has been detected in wastewater have already been identified by above-ground testing. The virus was not found in dorms where cases had not been previously identified through standard nasal swab testing. The results validate the accuracy of the wastewater surveillance, which means that as cases decrease, GatorWATCH can provide clues to where the virus might linger — and where other public health threats could pop up.

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Smartphone-based COVID-19 saliva test earns professor national honor

Rhoel Dinglasan, Ph.D.A University of Florida professor and his industry collaborators have won second place in a technology competition sponsored by the National Institutes of Health for a smartphone-based, rapid saliva test they developed that can be used to diagnose COVID-19, along with two other diseases of major global importance, malaria and anemia.

A team that included Rhoel Dinglasan, Ph.D., professor of infectious diseases with UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Southeastern Center of Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases, along with two other researchers was one of six winners of the NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge, or NTAC, offered for the first time this year.

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On World Heart Day, a heartfelt reminder to take good care

Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, including heart disease, are at higher risk for suffering poor outcomes from a COVID-19 infection. Today, on World Heart Day, take time to learn more about how you can take care of your heart and help your loved ones. Check out these resources to learn more:

Looking for more ways to create a healthier lifestyle?

Well at UFOur Healthy Lifestyle Program is a series of six sessions exploring ways you can create a healthy lifestyle. Each session will focus on a specific health topic, including goal setting, physical activity, nutrition, energy balance, stress management and resilience. Altogether, this six-week program is designed to change our perspective on what it takes to create a healthy lifestyle. Sessions occur once a week, and each session lasts for approximately 45 minutes. If you want to start adopting healthier habits but are not sure where to start, this program is for you.

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