Meningococcal disease case confirmed at OSU Corvallis campus

Student Health Services stocks a vaccine against strain B of meningococcal meningitis, which is available for students. 

Lauren Sluss, Editor-in-Chief

A singular case of meningococcal disease has been confirmed at the Oregon State University Corvallis campus, according to an all-students email sent at 1:50 p.m. today.

According to the email, testing is underway to determine the disease strain and is expected to be completed early next week.

“Please be aware that meningococcal disease is uncommon, but it is a serious disease,” the email stated.

Meningococcal is a serious and potentially fatal disease, according to Student Health Services’ informational website. The infection most often causes severe swelling of the tissue around the brain and spinal cord, or a serious blood infection.

Last academic year, three cases of the B strain meningococcal disease were reported among OSU students, causing OSU students to still be considered at a somewhat elevated risk, according to the email.

Because of this, all OSU Corvallis campus undergraduate students under the age of 25 are advised to be vaccinated against B strain meningococcal disease, the email stated.

SHS carries the quadrivalent vaccine to fight meningococcal. In addition to this, SHS carries a new Type B vaccine called Bexsero, which is a two-dose series, each series given one month apart. The vaccine costs $235 per dose. Students currently enrolled at OSU may come to SHS to receive the vaccination.

The SHS webpage advises students to check with their insurance company to see if the cost will be covered, as well as inform the insurer that OSU is in an outbreak situation for Meningitis B. In many cases, this will require them to cover the cost of immunizations fully.

Symptoms of meningococcal disease include a fever, rash, severe headache, severe body aches, nausea and/or vomiting, feeling drowsy or weak, a stiff neck or confusion.

“If you are experiencing these symptoms, please immediately visit your primary care physician or a nearby urgent care medical clinic or emergency room,” the email stated. “OSU students experiencing these symptoms should visit OSU Student Health Services in Plageman Hall, which is located at 108 S.W. Memorial Place.”

For further information, students can visit the SHS meningococcal disease webpage at http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/meningococcal-disease.

Students can also call the OSU Student Health Services Nurse advice line at (541) 737-2724 or Benton County Health Department communicable disease nurses at 541-766-6835.