College students at 3.5 times higher risk for meningitis B
“College students ages 18-24 are more than three times at risk for the potentially deadly serogroup B meningococcal disease”
January 3, 2019
Central Penn Parent
College students ages 18-24 are more than three times at risk for the potentially deadly serogroup B meningococcal disease (meningitis B) when compared with non-college students, according to a study published in the January 2019 issue of Pediatrics.
Although the incidence of meningococcal disease has steadily declined in the United States since the 1990s, adolescents and young adults remain at an increased risk for meningococcal disease. College freshmen living in residence halls, though not college students overall, have previously been identified as being at an increased risk for meningococcal disease compared with young adults of the same age who are not in college.
Meningococcal disease — a bacterial disease also known as meningitis — has many strains, with each one being called a specific serogroup; the five major strains are serogroups A, B, C, W and Y. According to the National Meningitis Association, of those who contract meningococcal disease, 10 to 15 percent die from it. Among those who survive the illness, 20 percent will have permanent disabilities, such as brain damage, hearing loss, loss of kidney function or limb amputations. The disease is spread through the exchange of respiratory secretions during close contact such as kissing or coughing on someone. The meningococcal bacteria cannot live outside the body for very long, so it does not spread as easily as a cold virus. The National Meningitis Association states that roughly one in 10 people carry meningococcal bacteria in their nose or throat without showing any signs or symptoms of the disease and can unknowingly transmit the bacteria to others.
Read the full article “College students at 3.5 times higher risk for meningitis B”