EUGENE, Ore. – Another case of the potentially deadly disease, Meningococcal, has been confirmed on the Oregon State University campus.
This is the sixth case in the past year. A 21-year-old student was diagnosed and hospitalized. They have since been discharged from the hospital but school officials and state health officials are expanding the schools vaccine requirements.
State health leaders aren’t sugarcoating the severity, Dr. Paul Cieslak with the Oregon Public Health Division says, “It's one hundred percent fatal without antibiotic therapy that needs to be given promptly.”
The Vice President of University Relations, Steve Clark stated that students 25 years and younger will be required to be vaccinated for "Meningococcal B Disease 40" by February 15th.
This is a change from the previous vaccine requirement, which stated that all students under 22 were required to have what’s known as the “Quadrivalent vaccine.” Another vaccine, known as Men-B, was only required for incoming freshman and transfers; this now expands to all students 25 and younger.
Charlie Fautin from the Benton County Health Department says that the disease can progress from flu like symptoms and can quickly become catastrophic.
The disease is spread through close contact.
While the number of those infected may seem small, health leaders say it can’t be ignored.
“It's a fairly rare disease, but it's truly catastrophic. It strikes otherwise healthy young adults 27 and because it's transmissible, we take this very seriously,” said Fautin.
A University of Oregon Student died in 2015 after an outbreak on the Eugene campus. Officials are recommending that OSU students get the vaccine now, while on winter break.
For anyone who wants to get the vaccine, it’s important to talk to your doctor. There are two types of Men-B vaccines and both require multiple doses.