MONDAY, JUNE 25, 2018

4 University of Oregon students contact Type B meningitis

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Four freshmen from the University of Oregon have been diagnosed with type B meningococcal disease since January, including one student who died last month. 

Officials from the Lane County Health Department, the Oregon Health Authority and the university are asking that anyone who had close contact with the students contact the county health department to discuss the possible need for antibiotics. 

Officials are also encouraging all University of Oregon students to receive meningitis B vaccines. Vaccines are currently available at pharmacies partnered with the school, including Walgreens, Albertsons and Safeway.

Officials are collaborating with insurance companies to make sure the vaccines are affordable.

Meningococcal disease is spread by the Meningococcus bacteria, which lives in the nose and throat. Only 1 in every 100,000 people contact the disease each year. 

Symptoms of the disease include  fever, severe headache, neck stiffness or rash. Some cases can lead to brain damage, deafness, paralysis or loss of limbs. Approximately 10 percent of all cases are fatal. 

Adolescents and adults younger than 25 are most susceptible to the disease. 

Although the disease can progress quickly, it can be treated with antibiotics if caught early enough.

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University of Oregon

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