Two graduate students diagnosed with meningitis B

Columbia

“Two cases of meningococcal disease have been diagnosed at the School of International and Public Affairs, [Columbia] University administrators announced”

February 1, 2019
Columbia Spectator

SUMMARY

Two cases of meningococcal disease have been diagnosed at the School of International and Public Affairs, University administrators announced this evening. Both students are being treated in St. Luke’s hospital, and the University is working with national health officials to continue prevention efforts.

Columbia is required by federal law to disclose cases of meningitis—a viral or bacterial inflammation of membranes around the spinal cord and brain—due to a potential public health risk. Those at increased risk for Meningitis B, which is one of the most common forms of Meningococcal disease, include infants, adolescents and young adults, and people in proximity to an outbreak. The disease is most commonly contracted through direct contact with bodily fluids, such as through sneezing and sharing drinks.

Neither New York State law nor Columbia’s policies mandate that college students receive a meningitis vaccination prior to enrollment. However, New York State does require that all university students receive information about the vaccine from their institution, and the University bars students from registering for classes until they have submitted proof of an Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccination and have made an informed decision regarding the meningitis vaccination.

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Gordon Rosenberg