Meningitis B Outbreak at College Draws Vaccinations


Over 30,000 students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst are at risk of the deadly disease because of two students who contracted Meningitis B in October. The interesting aspect of the case: the two students hadn’t had contact with one another, which makes it highly believable that the disease either has spread invisibly or others have contracted it.

Within the last year, half of the 372 cases reported with meningitis came from college students. The diseased cases resulted in 49 of them in death. The University of Massachusetts is not the only university that decided to set up vaccine clinics throughout campuses.

Oregon State actually requires students coming into the university under the age of 22 to be vaccinated and receive it. There have been five cases of meningitis on Oregon’s campus.

Certain circumstances, such as when health officials declare an outbreak or admit that there is an increased risk of an outbreak, allows private insurances to take over the cost of the shots. An outbreak can be determined even just after two cases are founded.

Symptoms of Meningitis

According to the CDC, meningitis brings on fever, nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, a rash, confusion, a stiff neck, and headache.

In those who are infected with meningitis, odd symptoms can include a severe lifelong impairment of blindness, deafness, and even a loss of extremities.

Vaccines are shown to help to protect those in danger within the area of an outbreak, however, it does not prevent all cases. Unfortunately, there are continuously emerging strands of the disease and vaccines hoping to help may prove outdated once another strand is found.

If you are worried about the outbreak, please contact your doctor about vaccinations. Please feel free to visit the website of the CDC to find out more: https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/outbreaks/index.html.


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