Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates: uc.edu/publichealth
Here at the University of Cincinnati, we care about our students’ health and a smart choice to make is to get a Meningitis B vaccination. This web page will provide you with general information about meningitis B and the vaccine.
Vaccines Are Now Available to Help Prevent Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease
Two serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccines (Bexsero® and Trumenba®) are licensed. They are different from the meningococcal vaccine you may have already received. That prior vaccine does not offer protection against serogroup
B meningococcal disease.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that a MenB vaccine may be administered to adolescents and young adults 16 through 23 years
old to help protect against most serogroup B meningococcal disease.
Outbreaks of Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease Occur on College Campuses
Several recent outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease have occurred on college campuses across the United States. In 2013, outbreaks at two universities in New Jersey and California had a combined 13 cases and one associated death.
In 2015, outbreaks at two universities in Oregon and Rhode Island saw a combined nine cases and one death. Those schools now all recommended MenB vaccination for their students.
UC’s University Health Services (UHS) Strongly Recommends MenB Vaccine for Students
With these recent outbreaks in mind, UC’s University Health Services (student health center) has learned that a few cases of serogroup B meningitis have hit the local community. Therefore, UC’s UHS strongly recommends all students aged 25 and under receive the MenB vaccine. The two-dose vaccine is currently available at our student health center. Getting both shots is important to provide the best protection against this serious disease.
1. Why do I need the MenB vaccine?
Meningococcal disease is a very serious, potentially fatal, illness. The bacteria that cause meningococcal disease require lengthy or very close, person-to-person contact in order to spread. You must be in close contact (e.g., by living in close
quarters, kissing) with the person’s saliva (spit) or other respiratory secretions in order for the bacteria to spread. Vaccination can help keep you safe and healthy.
2. What could happen if I get meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease can cause meningitis or bacteremia/septicemia (infection of the bloodstream). Common symptoms of meningococcal meningitis include sudden onset of fever, headache and stiff neck. Symptoms of meningococcal septicemia may include
fever, fatigue, vomiting, cold hands and feet, cold chills, severe aches or pains, rapid breathing, diarrhea and a dark purple rash. Symptoms can develop quickly or over several days. Even with antibiotic treatment, meningococcal
disease can be fatal in about 10 to 15 percent of cases. Of those who survive, about 11 to 19 percent have long-term complications such as permanent hearing loss, loss of limb or brain damage. 3. Is the MenB vaccine the same as the general meningitis vaccine?
No. The MenB vaccine can only help prevent serogroup B meningococcal disease. The other meningococcal vaccine, known as meningococcal conjugate vaccine, covers serogroups A, C, W and Y. These are different strains than serogroup B. The serogroup B (MenB)
vaccine is new and recently approved. Both types of meningococcal vaccines are important for college students.
5. What else can I do to avoid getting sick?For meningococcal disease, we recommend that you:
For additional information on meningococcal disease and the MenB vaccine, please visit:Centers for Disease Control and PreventionMeningococcal General InformationMeningococcal Vaccine Information
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