Meningitis

Health Education for Students

Overview

Meningococcal Meningitis is an infection of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection. Viral Meningitis is less severe and usually resolves without treatment, however bacterial Meningitis is rare and often severe. College students have an increased risk of meningococcal disease, which is associated with social environments and close living arrangements to others. Bacterial Meningitis is contagious and spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (via coughing/kissing) and individuals in direct contact or close living quarters are at a much higher risk for infection

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever, Severe Headache, Stiff Neck
  • Confusion, Sleepiness
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Seizures

Prevention

  • There are two types of vaccination for bacterial meningitis:
  • Vaccine for strains ACWY called Menactra or Menomune
  • Vaccine for Meningitis B called Trumenba or Bexero
  • All incoming freshman under the age of 23 must show evidence of having been vaccinated for Meningitis strains ACWY (Menomune or Menactra)
  • Students are also encouraged to get vaccinated for Meningitis B, but it is not required (Trumenba or Bexero)

Treatment

  • Bacterial Meningitis can be effectively treated with antibiotics, however it is very important to begin treatment as early as possible

How we can help

  • The SHC has the vaccinations for both ACWY and Meningitis B.
  • If you would like to be seen by our medical staff or have any questions about immunizations, please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Resources