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Health & Wellness Services Division of Student Affairs

Meningitis Recommendation

Meningococcal disease, also known as meningitis, is a rare but serious illness. Young adults are at a higher risk for meningitis, especially those in living in close quarters such as residence halls or Greek housing.

For full protection, Health & Wellness Services strongly recommends that students receive both the standard meningitis vaccine and the meningitis type B vaccine.

Meningitis type B vaccine

During the last few years, several college communities have experienced outbreaks of meningitis related to the type B strain.

The type B vaccine covers the recent bacteria strain not included in the standard 4-strain vaccine that many students received as adolescents. Both vaccines are recommended, especially for those under age 25 who live in residence halls and Greek housing.

Health & Wellness Services provides the standard meningitis vaccine as well as the type B vaccine. You can see the full list of immunizations we offer on our services page, or contact us to get details on your coverage.

Symptoms of meningitis

Symptoms of meningitis include:

  • Fever
  • Light sensitivity
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Rash (flat, dark purple spots on arms, legs, then torso)
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Feeling very drowsy or weak
  • Confusion

Reduce the spread of meningitis

Bacteria spreads when there is close or prolonged contact with an infected person. The primary means for meningococcal bacteria to spread is through respiratory secretions.

To reduce the spread of meningitis:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Avoid kissing
  • Avoid smoking
  • Practice respiratory etiquette
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Use hand sanitizer
  • Do not share eating utensils, lipstick or lip balm, tissues, water bottles or toothbrushes

Additional resources

For more information about meningococcal disease and the meningitis B outbreaks, visit the CDC’s resources on meningococcal disease.