University of Oregon outbreak: 3rd meningitis case reported - Outbreak News Today | Outbreak News Today Outbreak News Today
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For the third time in less than a month, the University of Oregon has reported a student who has tested positive for meningococcal disease. The latest case was diagnosed with Neisseria meningococcemia on Sunday, February 8, 2015.

Oregon map Image/ National Atlas of the United States

Oregon map
Image/ National Atlas of the United States

This follows cases reported in mid-January and one week ago.

University of Oregon staff members have been working closely with Lane County Public Health officials to identify individuals who may have had extended exposure to the patient. According to Lane County Public Health, the risk of transmission is considered to be quite low. In order for the illness to spread, a person would need to have close contact with the patient for four hours or more over the past seven days.

The University has identified specific individuals who may have had extended exposure to the patient. Those who have had close contact of at least 4 hours cumulatively within one week are being provided with a preventative medication to further reduce their risk of becoming ill.

According to Jason Davis with the Lane County Health and Human Services, a male student that was diagnosed this week and a female student diagnosed on Feb. 3 both received early treatment and were expected to recover quickly, Davis said, but a female student diagnosed on Jan. 16 has had more difficulty recovering.

“Time will tell if she experiences long-term ramifications from the disease,” he added.

In addition to Oregon, Providence College and Yale University have reported meningococcal meningitis cases in recent weeks.

Meningitis symptoms/Public domain image/Mikael Häggström

Meningitis symptoms/Public domain image/Mikael Häggström

The National Meningitis Association notes that several of the students were diagnosed with meningitis serogroup B. In fact, Providence College organized an on-campus vaccine clinic to protect students against serogroup B. Two different vaccines are available to protect against the disease:

  • The quadrivalent vaccine protects against four major strains of the meningococcal bacteria: A, C, W and Y. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends this vaccine at age 11-12 with a booster at age 16.
  • Two monovalent serogroup B vaccines were recently approved in the US for ages 10 to 25 years. The CDC has not yet issued a routine recommendation for these vaccines.

“We encourage all college students to make sure they are up-to-date with the currently recommended vaccines, including the booster before they leave for college,” said Lynn Bozof, President of NMA. “Parents and students should also speak to their healthcare providers about the new vaccines to protect against serogroup B, which we hope will soon be recommended to protect all adolescents.”

Meningococcal disease can affect people at any age. Infants are at the highest risk for getting the disease. Disease rates fall through later childhood but begin to rise again in early adolescence, peaking between the ages of 15 and 20 years.

Due to lifestyle factors, such as crowded living situations, bar patronage, active or passive smoking, irregular sleep patterns, and sharing of personal items, college students living in residence halls are more likely to acquire meningococcal disease than the general college population.

Read more about the 2014 meningitis B outbreaks HERE

 

11 Comments

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  4. The Meningitis Foundation of America offers extensive information regarding diagnosis, immunization, recovery and the after effects of meningitis. MFA survives primarily by donations. For the past 18 years, we have assisted people through support groups, resources and advocacy in efforts to help those affected with meningitis overcome and those around them understand the journey ahead. We promote prevention and safety measure in at risk communities and help explain the short term, long term effects and recovery treatments of meningitis to the media and public at large. Meningitis is a dangerous & often times fatal infection that can lead to serious life-long physical problems and even death. Every life is worth vaccinating. We are here to provide emotional support to those who need it; please feel free to reach out to us at http://www.musa.org.
    Caroline L. Petrie
    National Secretary
    Meningitis Foundation of America, Inc.
    World Meningitis Day 24 April
    Educate~Vaccinate~Eradicate

    • Biologist says:

      Educating and vaccinating as appropriate sound good. However, the eradication concept seems outdated since we now know that replacement pathogens will emerge to exploit ecological niches vacated via eradication. Sometimes the replacement pathogen is worse than the one it replaced.

  5. […] the confirmed cases of students infected with bacterial meningitis at the University of Oregon, Providence College and Yale University, the Medical Director at Marquette University […]

  6. […] number of American and Canadian universities to include the University of Oregon, Yale University, Providence College, Marquette University and Acadia University in Nova Scotia […]

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  8. […] the three confirmed cases of meningococcal meningitis on the University of Oregon (UO) campus this year and the suspect case in the death of freshman, […]

  9. […] Dekalb High School graduate is the fourth case of meningococcemia/meningococcal meningitis case at UO since the beginning of the […]

  10. […] campuses since 2013 to include Yale University, Santa Clara University, Providence College, University of Oregon, Georgetown University, Rutgers University, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Drexel […]

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