Meningitis B Cases at UW-Madison
Two UW-Madison students were hospitalized the week of October 3 with meningococcal serogroup B meningitis. Meningitis is a rare, but very serious disease that is an inflammation of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It comes on suddenly and progresses quickly. If not treated immediately, it can lead to death. Meningitis is usually treated with antibiotics.
To prevent more cases, University Health Services is recommending that all undergraduate students through age 25 at UW-Madison be vaccinated against meningococcal disease serogroup B. The vaccine is a series of 2 doses and available at no cost to students.
Most students are immunized as adolescents or as first-year college students living in dorms against meningitis serogroups ACYW, but not against serogroup B. Serogroup B is a newer vaccine and most college students have not yet been immunized. Students can check their immunization records in Wisconsin at Wisconsin Immunization Registry.
Meningococcal bacteria are spread by direct contact with an infected person's oral or nasal secretions. Besides immunization, other preventative measures include not sharing things that come into contact with your mouth, such as cups, smoking materials, or lip balm, covering your mouth and nose with tissue when coughing or sneezing and disposing of tissue, and handwashing.
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