A bacterial meningitis outbreak at Oregon State University (OSU) has public health officials and medical providers in Idaho on guard as college students head home for the holidays, and encouraging students to get vaccinated against the disease. So far, no cases have been reported in Idaho, but OSU has reported six cases at the University’s Corvallis campus, five known to be caused by serogroup B meningococcal bacteria.
“If you have college students from the Corvallis campus of OSU home for the holiday break, it would be a great idea to check to see if they have been vaccinated against serogroup B meningococcal disease,” said Dr. Christine Hahn, medical director for the Division of Public Health in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. “If not, they should be vaccinated with the MenB vaccine to protect them from the disease, which is very serious and can spread in college settings. It can cause loss of limbs, hearing loss, or brain damage. Even with treatment, up to 15% of people can die from it.” Continue reading