Saturday, September 20, 2014

College students should get the Type B meningitis vaccine now as well as the usual

There have been more reports of college student illnesses and deaths from meningitis this fall, especially Type B.

There is some confusion as to how to protect oneself against type B meningococcus.  There is a separate vaccine, which is in the approval process.  The CDC says that it now should be given in most cases, and college and universities should normally offer it.  Here is the link.  Type B seems to be responsible for some of the most gruesome cases, where unusual bacterial toxins clog blood vessels and result in amputations. 

A student at Georgetown University in Washington DC died of Type B recently, story here
A study of the limb damage problem from Britain is available here  (St. Mary’s).
A number of students in college residential environments know me and sometimes see my blogs.  I encourage everyone to get these vaccines, including B, as soon as possible.  Bacterial meningitis is sometimes hard to treat successfully with standard antibiotics.
 The Washington Blade has been reporting that HIV-positive persons are more likely to develop any form of bacterial meningitis and more likely to have grave complications, including amputations.

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