COLLEGE students are being encouraged to be immunized against meningitis

Thursday, August 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Medical experts encourage college freshmen getting ready to leave for school to be immunized against meningitis.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that the risk of meningococcal disease is three to six times higher for freshman students living in dormitories than other college students, compared to people of the same age not in college.

Doctors say the disease is more common among people crowded together in living arrangements, such as military recruits and students. Tulsa Pediatrician, Dr. David Geffen: "Some people are carrying this germ in their nose and are never infected beyond that. But if you get enough people together, people are exposed to it and some of those people get infected."

Dr Geffen says the vaccine protects against about 80% of the strains of meningococcal disease. He says there are no significant side effects other than the high cost, around $80, usually not covered by insurance.