Thursday, November 21, 2013

Outbreak? Meningitis case reported at another NJ university

Calling for Bexsero! Calling for Bexsero!

Once again Americans have to turn to Europe and Australia for a vaccine not available in this country because of another emergency case of meningitis in a university.

A Princeton connection is feared. The vaccine needed is called Bexsero.

A new case of meningitis was reported at a New Jersey university late Wednesday, raising worries that an outbreak of the potentially deadly infection may have spread beyond Princeton, where seven people have been sickened since March.

An administrator at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, N.J., was hospitalized after becoming "gravely ill," officials at the school reported in a notice to the campus community Thursday. The school, which enrolls nearly 4,800 undergraduate students, is located about 45 miles from Princeton.

There's no confirmation yet about what strain of bacteria infected the employee, or whether it's serotype B, which sickened the six students and a student visitor in the Princeton outbreak, according to Petra Ludwig Shaw, a Monmouth spokeswoman. 

Concern about the outbreak is so great that Princeton officials this week agreed to import and pay for a vaccine that's not approved in the United States to start inoculating students against the infection that kills at least 1 in 10 who contract it. The current U.S. vaccines recommended for college students cover four strains of the bacteria that cause illness -- A, C, Y and W-135 -- but not strain B.

Also on Thursday, a third case of meningitis was confirmed at the University of California at Santa Barbara, according to officials there. But they told the Associated Press that those cases do not appear related to the Princeton outbreak.” full story here

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