CDC confirms death from meningococcal disease at Drexel University

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that a Drexel University student died on March 10 from serogroup B meningococcal disease, and the strain matches the one involved in an outbreak at Princeton University.

The CDC said the local health department investigated who had been in contact with the student and recommended antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent additional cases of the disease. No related cases have been reported.

The investigation revealed the Drexel University student had been in contact with students from Princeton University approximately one week before experiencing symptoms.

The CDC said a high percentage of students at Princeton received two doses of an investigational serogroup B vaccine as part of a public health initiative at the university. The school has not reported any new cases of meningococcal disease since the campaign began on December 9.

The U.S. does not have an approved serogroup B vaccine. Available data show two doses of the investigational vaccine administered at Princeton protect adolescents from the disease, however, they might be able to carry the bacteria in their throats.

The CDC said that local health department and Drexel University are working to prevent additional cases and members of the community are not considered to be at risk.

Students are encouraged to get treatment if they experience symptoms, which include high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing and possibly a rash.