CDC issues update on meningococcal disease outbreak at UCSB

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced it is moving forward with an investigational new drug application to use a meningococcal vaccine to respond to a November outbreak in California.

There were four confirmed cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease reported in November at the University of California at Santa Barbara. The CDC worked with the California Department of Public Health, the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and university officials to monitor and respond to the outbreak.

In an update on December 31, the CDC said it will move forward with an IND application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine to respond to the outbreak. The vaccine is already licensed for use in Australia, Canada and Europe. The IND would let the vaccine be used during the outbreak for individuals identified as being at increased risk.

The CDC said that all four cases were caused by meningococcal bacteria known as serogroup B. The CDC and its partners determined it was prudent to move forward with the IND and plan for a potential vaccine campaign. The vaccine will not be available to UCSB students until the FDA approves the IND application.

There were no additional cases of the disease diagnosed since November 21.