Meningitis

The American College Health Association and CDC recommend that all first-year students living in residence halls are immunized against meningitis.

The meningitis vaccine that protects against serogroup B is preferred for individuals between the ages of 16 – 18. Health Services offers the MenB vaccine, Bexsero. To provide maximum immunity, Bexsero requires a series of 2 shots (one given now and the second a month later). The current cost, if given in Health Services, is $145.00 per vaccine.

The CDC recommends that individuals between the ages of 11- 18 receive 2 doses of the meningitis vaccine that protects against serogroups “ACWY.”  If the second dose has not been administered before entering college, it is recommended that incoming students receive a booster. Health Services offers Menveo “ACWY.”  The current cost,
if given in Health Services, is $98 per dose.

Students who have not already been vaccinated with both vaccines should consider contacting their healthcare provider or UA Little Rock Health Services to get these essential vaccinations. If administered in Health Services, we can verify insurance benefits to determine if your medical plan covers the cost.

ABOUT MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE:

Worldwide, meningococcal disease affects 310,000 people each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 2,600 people in the United States get meningococcal disease each year. Serogroup B accounted for over 50% of the cases in individuals between the ages of 18 – 24.

Signs and Symptoms Include:

  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Exhaustion
  • Rash

If you have any doubts about your symptoms, see a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment is important because meningococcal disease can be deadly within 48 hours of getting sick. It also can lead to severe disabilities, such as loss of limbs.

Routes of Transmission

Because meningococcal organisms are spread by exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (sneezing, coughing, kissing, and sharing utensils and drinking glasses) the close contact of residence halls or other living communities may play a role in the spread of the bacteria.

Always practice good hygiene. Make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve and wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. Do not share drinking glasses, water bottles, eating utensils, or cosmetics or lip balm.