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Vaccines offered at OSU after student diagnosed with meningococcal disease

OSU is offering students vaccines, after a student was diagnosed with meningococcal disease.

An Oregon State University student is currently being treated for meningococcal disease—which can lead to meningitis.

Benton County Health Department is working with school officials, local medical providers and state public health officials to find anyone who has been in close contact with the diagnosed student, and may require antibiotic treatment. Individuals who have spent at least four hours in close contact with a person infected with meningococcal disease are at an especially high risk.

Meningococcal disease does not spread easily. It is spread through direct contact with fluids from the nose or throat of an infected person. This can happen when a sick person coughs or sneezes; shares eating and drinking utensils or smoking devices; or has intimate contact.

Public health officials encourage students to wash their hands and not share utensils or drinking glasses.

"Students must be vigilant about monitoring their health," said Bill Emminger, Benton County Health Department. "Catching early signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease can be a crucial factor in prevention.

Signs that someone might have meningococcal disease may include high fever, headache, stiff neck, exhaustion, nausea, rash and vomiting. Meningococcal disease may lead to meningitis, an infection of the fluids that line the brain and spinal cord. A blood infection usually causes fever and a rash.

The university is organizing vaccine clinics this month:

Meningococcal B Immunization Clinic

Wednesday, Nov. 8

Memorial Union Multi-Purpose Room 13

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Immunizations Offered: Meningococcal (MCV4) or Meningococcal B

Immunization Clinic

Tuesday, Nov. 21

Memorial Union Journey Room 104

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Immunizations Offered: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), Varicella (Chickenpox), Hepatitis, Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis (Tdap), Meningococcal (MCV4) and Meningococcal B

Additionally, OSU Student Health Services (SHS) and the Student Health Pharmacy continue to provide students meningococcal B vaccines at Student Health Service in Plageman Hall, 108 S.W. Memorial Place., Many other health care providers in the community have the meningococcal B vaccine on request.

Anyone who has signs of meningococcal disease should immediately visit their health care provider, a nearby urgent care clinic or an emergency room. OSU students who have these signs should visit OSU Student Health Services

Learn more about meningococcal disease by calling the OSU Student Health Services Nurse Advice line at 541-737-2724 or Benton County Health Department communicable disease nurses at 541-766-6835 or by visiting these websites:

studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/infectious-diseases/meningococcal-disease

healthoregon.org/mening.

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