Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Federal Recommendations Aimed At Protecting College Students From Potentially Deadly Form Of Meningitis

Date:
November 2, 1999
Source:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
Moshe Arditi, M.D., the Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and an authority on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bacterial infections, says meningococcal infection is a very dangerous situation that can kill within just a few hours. Last week, an advisory committee for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urged college freshmen to consider being vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis.

LOS ANGELES (Oct. 25, 1999) – An advisory committee for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week urged college freshmen to consider being vaccinated against meningococcal meningitis.

Moshe Arditi, M.D., the Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and an authority on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bacterial infections, says meningococcal infection is a very dangerous situation that can kill within just a few hours.

"The bacteria travel through the bloodstream, frequently reaching the meninges, the lining of the brain and spinal cord, and causing the inflammation called meningitis. In other instances, the bacteria don't even have time to go that far, instead causing a fulminant blood infection, bringing about septic shock and shutting down the body's organs. This can occur very rapidly," says Dr. Arditi.

Although the bacterium that causes meningococcal infections -- Neisseria meningitidis - is easily passed through direct contact activities such as coughing, sneezing or kissing , many people carry it for days or weeks in the secretions of the nose and throat without getting sick. Even so, meningococcal meningitis appears to be an opportunistic disease, infecting people who live in close proximity.

In fact, the military began fighting the bacteria years ago, introducing the first vaccine in 1971 to prevent outbreaks among new recruits housed in crowded barracks. Today, the battle field is moving to the college campus.

"It appears that the overall incidence of this problem in high school and college kids aged 17 and older has doubled in the last few years," says Dr. Arditi. "College students do not have an increased incidence of meningococcal disease compared to the general population, but students living on campus have a three-fold increased risk compared to those who live off campus."

While crowding may play a role in these statistics, it probably is not the only factor. "In some ways, entering college freshmen may be analogous with military recruits, but on-campus residence halls typically are not as crowded as military barracks," says Dr. Arditi. "There may be other risk factors involved with living on campus, such as alcohol-related behavior, exposure to tobacco smoke and other activites that may weaken the immune system's response. It may be that many dorm students are exposed to the bacteria for the first time and therefore have not had an opportunity to develop immunity."

Dr. Arditi says the vaccine costs about $65, a bargain compared to the cost of higher education. "In my opinion, it is reasonable for physicians to provide college students, especially those living on campuses, with the option of receiving the vaccine if they want to reduce their risk."

The vaccine is not, however, a guarantee of immunity. There are five serogroups or strains of the bacterium: A, B, C, Y, and W. The vaccine protects against four of the five.

"The college campus outbreaks have mostly been caused by group C and the vaccine is reasonably effective against A, C, Y and W. But currently there is no effective vaccine approved in the United States for serotype B, which causes about one-third of the cases," Dr. Arditi says.

Tell-tale symptoms of meningitis include high fever and severe, sudden headache. These often are accompanied by such complaints as stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, mental changes and a rash. According to Dr. Arditi, 3,000 new cases of meningococcal infection cause about 300 deaths per year in the United States.

The Director of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center's Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Dr. Arditi is available to provide additional information on this subject.

# # #

For media information and to arrange an interview, please e-mail sandy@vancommunications.com or call 1-800-396-1002.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "New Federal Recommendations Aimed At Protecting College Students From Potentially Deadly Form Of Meningitis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991101153057.htm>.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (1999, November 2). New Federal Recommendations Aimed At Protecting College Students From Potentially Deadly Form Of Meningitis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991101153057.htm
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "New Federal Recommendations Aimed At Protecting College Students From Potentially Deadly Form Of Meningitis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/11/991101153057.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins