Saturday, November 16, 2013

Princeton students at risk of getting meningitis B – CDC takes unusual steps to stop it

  Good Day World!

 What happens when a sudden outbreak of a fast-moving infection shows up at an Ivy league University and there’s nothing to stop it in America?

That’s been the case at Princeton, and now the 8,000 students there are going to get a vaccine for the deadly infection…as soon as it arrives from overseas.

American students, for reasons I couldn’t tell you, aren’t vaccinated again meningitis B, which presents a serious problem:

According to the CDC, between 10 percent and 12 percent of those who get meningitis B die, and about 20 percent of those who recover can wind up with severe side effects including deafness, mental retardation and limb amputations.

There’s so many scary bugs out there these days. Every time I hear about some kind of health outbreak due to some nasty new (and/or old) bug I shudder. Here’s what’s happening:

Emergency doses of a meningitis vaccine not approved for use in the U.S. may soon be on the way to Princeton University to halt an outbreak of the potentially deadly infection that has sickened seven students since March.

Government health officials said Friday they have agreed to import Bexsero, a vaccine licensed only in Europe and Australia that protects against meningitis B, a strain not covered by the shots recommended for college students in the U.S.

"This is a bad disease and we know how devastating it is," Dr. Thomas Clark, acting head of the Centers for Disease Control's meningitis and vaccine preventable diseases branch, told NBC News. "A lot of us had a gut feeling that there would be more cases and we should get the ball rolling."

The unprecedented move could aim to inoculate the nearly 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students at the Ivy League school in hopes of stopping the spread of an illness that kills 10 percent or more of teens and young adults who get it.

"If you're a student at Princeton University right now, your risk is quite high," Clark said. Full story here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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