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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBS/AP) – New Jersey’s flagship university is urging students to get vaccinations due to a likely outbreak of bacterial meningitis. The university issued a health alert this week recommending students who live in undergraduate residence halls get vaccinations against meningitis type B.
Two Rutgers University students were hospitalized in February after they were diagnosed with the infection.
Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom says that while officials can’t predict whether there will be new cases, tests from the two previous cases suggest there is an outbreak.
The university says if you fit within one these exceptions, it is recommended that you contact your personal health care provider for advice on your particular risk factors:
- Individuals who live in New Brunswick undergraduate residence halls
- Individuals with medical conditions that put them at increased risk for meningococcal disease. These conditions include all functional and anatomic asplenia (including sickle cell disease), persistent complement component deficiencies (C3, C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D), and taking Soliris® (eculizumab)
- Microbiologists who are routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria
At this time, the university says they are not recommending general vaccination for members of the Rutgers Community on other campuses.
Meningitis is an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that cause the infection can spread through kissing, coughing and sharing beverages.
Signs and symptoms of infection include high fever, headache, stiff neck and a rash.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)