UW-Madison recommends meningitis B vaccination for undergraduate students

University of Wisconsin Madison

MADISON — University Health Services (UHS) — in consultation with officials from the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — recommends that all UW–Madison undergraduate students become vaccinated against meningococcal disease serogroup B.

This recommendation comes in response to two confirmed cases in students last week. Both students are currently recovering and additional details are not being disclosed out of respect for the medical privacy of the students and their families.

Beginning Thursday, Oct. 20, UHS will offer students the vaccine Bexsero at no charge. Complete details on vaccine clinic times and locations will be available on Monday, Oct. 17. (To be effective, Bexsero requires a second dose, to be given one month after the initial dose.)

Meningococcal bacteria are spread through close contact with an infected person’s oral or nasal secretions. To limit the spread of respiratory illness, students are encouraged to practice good hand hygiene, cover coughs and sneezes, and not share drinking cups or eating utensils.

Most students are immunized against serogroups ACYW but very few students are vaccinated against serogroup B. Serogroup B vaccine has only recently become available and it is not routinely recommended.

Questions from the campus community can be directed to health@wisc.edu. Students who are concerned or have questions about their health or are in need of counseling or support are encouraged to contact UHS at 608-265-5600. For students experiencing symptoms after hours, the UHS nurse line is available at 608-265-5600 (option 1).

Additional information is available from UHS at https://www.uhs.wisc.edu/front/meningitis-and-prevention/.

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