In a follow-up on the meningococcal disease case in a student from Linus Pauling Middle School in Corvallis, Benton County, OR officials are now reporting that the case is unrelated to the string of meningococcal disease cases seen at Oregon State University (OSU) over the past 15 months or so.

 Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC
Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC

Instead of the serogroup B meningococcus strain seen in the six OSU patients, laboratory test results show the Corvallis middle school student was infected with serogroup C meningococcal disease.

The youth has been discharged from the hospital.

“The disease is rare, but there are sporadic meningococcal disease infections regularly within the state,” said Bruce Thomson, Benton County Health Officer. “The confirmation this case is the C strain indicates the meningococcal B disease outbreak among undergraduates attending at the OSU campus in Corvallis is not linked to this case in the community.”

“There are actions you can take to protect your child,” said Charlie Fautin, Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department. “This strain is preventable with the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine which is effective against serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y.  The vaccine is recommended for all persons 11-18 years of age.”

“If you seeing fever, rash, headache or stiff neck—get your child to your health care provider’s office, urgent care medical clinic or emergency room immediately.”

LISTEN: Bacterial meningitis and vaccinations: A discussion with Dr. Leonard Friedland

Symptoms of meningococcal disease include sudden onset of high fever, headache, exhaustion, nausea, rash, stiff neck, vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone displaying these symptoms should seek medical care right away, as the disease can progress rapidly.

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Public health officials strongly encourage the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccination for all adolescents and young adults. This vaccine is required by many colleges and universities including Oregon State University and the University of Oregon.

In 2014 a case of meningococcal disease infected a Corvallis High School student. Testing results showed that illness was the W-135 strain, also covered by the quadrivalent vaccine.



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