December 19, 2013
In light of the recent news coverage of the meningitis outbreaks on the Princeton campus, some questions have arisen related to implications for us at Wesleyan.
What we know about Princeton’s situation:
- There have been 7 cases of meningitis identified between March and November 2013
- The type of meningitis has been identified as type B (not covered by the current vaccine administered in the US)
- At this time, there have been no other reported cases of this type of meningitis on other college campuses
- Princeton has received permission from the CDC and FDA to offer the Meningococcal Vaccine covering type B (Bexsero) that is used in Europe.
Meningitis is an infection of the spinal fluid and the blood stream (septicemia) caused by a number of bacteria. It is spread by contact with infected respiratory secretions (it is less contagious than influenza or the common cold). Typical symptoms include fever and neck stiffness. Once infected, a patient may become very sick. Death may occur in some cases if not treated appropriately.
The best preventative measures include:
(1) Vaccination – this is a State of CT requirement, and all Wesleyan students have this immunization with the current US approved vaccine
(2) Avoidance of contagion: Washing hands, not sharing cups, utensils, tooth brushes etc.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation at Princeton and follow the recommendations made by our Local Health Department, State Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control. At the present time there is no concern that this particular strain of meningitis is in Connecticut.
The staff at Davison Health Center reminds you to call us if you experience any illness or if you have questions.
11/21/13 - The American College Health Association recently added updated information. Click here for more details.
Tom McLarney, MD
Medical Director, Davison Health Center