Oregon State University continues to fight against Meningococcal threat

Mass vaccination clinic at Oregon State University (SBG, AF)

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University officials say type-B Meningococcal disease is still a threat to students on campus.

"It is possible that someone else might contract Meningococcal-B disease, but we don't want that to happen,” said Steve Clark, Vice President of University Relations at Oregon State University.

Just last fall, there were three confirmed cases of the potentially fatal infection on the OSU campus.

The disease claimed the life of a University Of Oregon student-athlete in 2015.

Following those confirmed cases last fall, 18-hundred students were vaccinated.

But officials say the shot isn't effective until the patient gets a couple more doses.

Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the university is hosting their second mass-vaccination clinic for students in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

Officials estimate there are currently 7,000 students on campus who are at high risk of getting the dangerous infection: all students ages 25 and younger.

"If untreated, certainly a disease like Meningococcal disease could lead to some serious mental or physical impairments, or even in the worst case: death," said Clark.

Clark said if a patient just gets one vaccination, they’re not fully protected.

They must finish a series of two or three vaccinations.

“At other universities the return rate to complete the vaccinations has been in the 10 to 20 percent range so we're very serious about trying to encourage students to complete them," said Clark.

One student said getting his second vaccination was a quick and easy process.

"It seems like the right thing to do. I mean, I don't want to be sick and I don't want anybody else to get sick," said OSU senior Quincy Gill.

Health officials say Meningococcal-B is not highly contagious and can be spread by the exchange of bodily fluid.

Symptoms of this potentially fatal infection include high fever, stiff neck, rash, headaches, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The vaccination clinic at OSU is only open to students; non-students can visit their primary care physician.

Students must bring their insurance and student ID to the clinic, but university officials say no student will be denied the vaccine due to insurance coverage, including students without insurance.

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