Spinal Meningitis

The Meningococcal vaccine is to prevent bacterial meningitis, a rare but potentially life-threatening disease. Meningitis, commonly referred to as spinal meningitis, is an infection spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (i.e. coughing and kissing) but is not as contagious as the common cold or flu.

Recent evidence from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that students living in dormitory halls are at a slightly higher risk than other persons their age. Data indicates that certain social behaviors such as exposure to passive and active smoke, bar patronage, and excessive alcohol consumption may place students at increased risk for this disease. The American College Health Association is recommending that college freshmen who plan to reside in dormitory halls consider receiving the vaccine.

Every year approximately 3,000 cases of the disease occur in the United States . If detected early, the disease can be treated effectively with antibiotics. Symptoms may often mimic those of the flu including high fever, severe headaches, stiff neck, lethargy and may also include nausea and vomiting.

 

Visit the Web site of the Immunization Action Coalition and view their Vaccine Information Statements for further information about the Meningococcal vaccine.

 

Student Health Services does not provide the Meningococcal vaccine, but will provide community referrals.

 

For additional information, please contact Cindy Dickinson at cdickinson@santarosa.edu.