Meningococcal results confirmed; vaccines offered to students

Thursday, November 2, 2017

An undergraduate student who attends Oregon State University in Corvallis is being treated for meningococcal disease. Testing results indicate the infection was the serogroup B meningococcal disease.

“We understand that any news about meningococcal disease is concerning,” said Steve Clark, vice president of University Relations at Oregon State University. “We are doing all that we can to ensure our students have access to important information about meningitis symptoms and to vaccines to prevent the disease. Meanwhile, our thoughts and support are with our ill student for a full recovery and return to school.”

The Benton County Health Department is working with OSU officials, local medical providers and state public health officials to continue to identify and contact anyone who may have had enough close exposure to require preventive antibiotic treatment. Officials want to make sure that close contacts get antibiotics to keep them from getting sick.

“Students must be vigilant about monitoring their health,” said Bill Emminger, Benton County Health Department. “Catching early signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease can be a crucial factor in prevention.

“Standard preventive measures against cold and flu, such as hand washing and not sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses, will go a long way to prevent transmission of meningococcal disease.”

The university is organizing vaccine clinics this month:

Meningococcal B Immunization Clinic
Wednesday, Nov. 8
Memorial Union Multi-Purpose Room 13
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Immunizations Offered: Meningococcal B

Immunization Clinic
Tuesday, Nov. 21
Memorial Union Journey Room 104
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Immunizations Offered: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), Varicella (Chickenpox), Hepatitis, Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis (Tdap), Meningococcal (MCV4) and Meningococcal B

Additionally, OSU Student Health Services (SHS) and the Student Health Pharmacy continue to provide students meningococcal B vaccines at Student Health Service in Plageman Hall, 108 S.W. Memorial Place., Many other health care providers in the community have the meningococcal B vaccine on request.

Signs that someone might have meningococcal disease may include high fever, headache, stiff neck, exhaustion, nausea, rash, and vomiting. Meningococcal disease may lead to meningitis, an infection of the fluids that line the brain and spinal cord. A blood infection usually causes fever and a rash. Individuals who are at highest risk for getting the disease are those who have spent at least four hours in close, face-to-face time with a person infected with meningococcal disease.

Anyone who has signs of meningococcal disease should immediately visit their health care provider, a nearby urgent care clinic or an emergency room. OSU students who have these signs should visit OSU Student Health Services

Meningococcal disease does not spread easily. It is spread through direct contact with fluids from the nose or throat of an infected person. This can happen when a sick person coughs or sneezes; shares eating and drinking utensils or smoking devices; or has intimate contact.

Learn more about meningococcal disease by calling the OSU Student Health Services Nurse Advice line at 541-737-2724 or Benton County Health Department communicable disease nurses at 541-766-6835 or by visiting these websites:


More information will be provided as available.