The death of a University of Oregon student has triggered a mass vaccination of students against a deadly bacteria making the rounds on campus in Eugene.
It’s a bacteria that is shared when people kiss, drink from the same cup, glass or straw or from sharing the same cigarette. A student died from Meningococcus February 15th. Anyone who had “close contact” with the student is urged to contact the Lane County Health Department at 541-682-4041. A nurse will help decide whether anti-biotics are needed to prevent coming down with the disease.
Symptoms include severe headache, fever, neck stiffness or rash. If any show up get to a doctor immediately. Delay in getting treatment can result in brain damage, deafness, paralysis and loss of fingers, toes or limbs. About ten percent of cases are fatal.
The Meningococcus bacteria spreads through being in close quarters with someone infected with the bacteria. Coughing, sneezing, or close personal contact such as sharing drinks or kissing. It’s less contagious than the flu or a cold but the main difference is that it can kill you.
A new vaccine is now available on the University of Oregon campus and they’re vaccinating as many students as possible. If you are a parent of a University of Oregon student, health officials urge that your student be strongly encouraged to be vaccinated.
In addition to getting vaccinated other ways to avoid an infection of meningococcus is washing your hands regularly, not sharing cigarettes or eating utensils and not drinking from the same bottle, cup or straw used by someone else.