Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks

Breaking News – a case of Men B in a student at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT (see below).

Meningitis B vaccination poster during an outbreak at Princeton.There are two types of meningococcal vaccines that can help prevent meningococcal disease, including:

  • Menactra and Menveo – meningococcal conjugate vaccines that protect against serogroups A, C, W, Y
  • Bexsero and Trumenba – meningococcal conjugate vaccines that only  protect against serogroup B

And while children routinely get their first dose of either Menactra or Menveo when they are 11 to 12 years old and a booster at age 16 years, the MenB vaccines only have a “permissive” recommendation.

That means that there isn’t a formal recommendation that all kids get Bexsero or Trumenba. Instead, older teens and young adults between the ages of 16 and 23 years can get vaccinated if they want to protect themselves from most strains of serogroup B meningococcal disease.

Anyone exposed to someone with meningococcal disease will also likely get antibiotics to decrease the chance that they get sick.

Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks

Although the CDC reports that the incidence of menB disease is low, there have been over ten outbreaks of menB disease on college campuses since 2013, including:

  • University of California, Santa Barbara four cases – one student had both his feet amputated (2013)
  • Princeton University – nine cases  and one death – a student at Drexel University (2013-14)
  • San Diego State University – one death (2014)
  • Providence College – two cases (2015)
  • University of Oregon – seven cases and one death (2016)
  • Santa Clara University – three cases (2016)
  • Rutgers University- New Brunswick – two cases (2016)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison – three cases (2016)
  • Oregon State University – six cases (2017)
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst – two cases (2017)
  • Smith College – one case (2018) leading to call for all students of Five College Consortium to get vaccinated
  • Colgate University – one case (2018)
  • San Diego State University – three cases (2018)

The latest case is at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT.

What to Know About Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks

Meningococcal disease is not common, but the effects of this vaccine-preventable disease disease can be devastating, which is why experts work to quickly get outbreaks under control.

More on Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks

Updated on December 5, 2018

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