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CDC Offers Guidance to Clinicians Regarding Meningitis Outbreaks at Two Colleges — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
December 2, 2013

CDC Offers Guidance to Clinicians Regarding Meningitis Outbreaks at Two Colleges

By Kelly Young

Separate outbreaks of meningococcal disease at two college campuses have federal officials warning clinicians to be on the lookout for the disease after students traveled home for Thanksgiving.

At Princeton University, eight cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease have been reported in the past 8 months. In addition, three undergraduate students at the University of California in Santa Barbara became sick with the disease in November. The outbreaks are caused by two distinct strains.

CDC officials advise that meningococcal disease should be suspected when a fever and headache or rash develops in a person affiliated with one of those universities or in a person with close contact with someone from the universities. Clinicians should consider empiric treatment.

A serogroup B vaccine — licensed for use abroad — is being offered at Princeton. The currently approved U.S. meningococcal vaccine does not cover serogroup B.

Reader Comments (1)

Loren Bartels, MD, FACS Physician, Otolaryngology, Tampa General Hospital

Question: will the USA now request that this organism be covered in the existing meningococcal vaccines?

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