Health officials today reported a sixth case of meningococcal disease infecting a student enrolled at Oregon State University in Corvallis, and are encouraging undergraduate students during winter break to receive vaccinations for meningococcal B disease.
Effective immediately, Oregon State University will require all of its Corvallis students 25 and younger to be vaccinated for meningococcal B disease by Feb. 15. Prior to this latest case, vaccinations were encouraged for all OSU students 25 years and under, but required for all incoming first-year students and transfer students.
OSU officials ask that health care providers consider meningococcal disease in their diagnosis when college students, particularly those with links to OSU, show up with unexplained high fever, headache, stiff neck or rash, and report any suspected cases promptly to their local public health department.
The latest illness shows the disease still is a cause for serious concern in and around the OSU Corvallis campus community and until students are vaccinated, they remain at risk of the potentially deadly disease.
State law requires health insurers to cover the cost of vaccines and antibiotics during an outbreak for enrollees 25 and younger, and who are attending or enrolled to attend OSU at the Corvallis campus. Students having trouble accessing vaccines due to insurance restrictions should call 888-877-4894 or email email@example.com to connect with patient advocates.
The following measures may offer some additional protection: students reduce the risk of transmission by coughing into a sleeve or tissue; avoiding exchange of respiratory and throat secretions, such as by sharing drinks or kissing; washing and sanitizing hands often; and not sharing drinks, utensils, cigarettes or other smoking equipment or personal cosmetics that touch the lips. Meningococcal B disease is not typically transmitted by touching kitchen counters, tables, doorknobs and other surfaces.
Additional meningococcal B disease information:
·Benton County: https://www.co.benton.or.us/health/page/meningococcal-disease-information