OSU students get vaccinated amid school's worst Meningococcal B outbreak

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CORVALLIS, Ore. - Students lined up throughout the day on the Oregon State University campus Wednesday, all waiting to get their immunizations for the Meningococcal B disease.

You'd never think the immunization clinic on the bottom floor of OSU's Memorial Union would be the most popular spot on campus, but given the recent news and new university requirements, it's the place to be.

The clinic comes on the heels of four student cases of Meningococcal B in the past year.

It's a rare but severe disease that, according to the CDC, can include Meningitis, an infection of the brain and spinal cord, or Bacteremia or Sepricemia, infections of the bloodstream.

"Even young healthy people can die or lose limbs or have permanent disability related to this," Jeff Mull, OSU Student Health Medical Director, said.

He says it's the worst outbreak the university's seen: "We will have an occasional case. I don't think we've ever had two cases in a year."

The disease spreads through direct contact, and according to Mull, students who live in groups, like dorms or frat houses, are more at risk.

"Most of which are the incoming students and so if we require it in that group that's at highest risk of getting the disease, we're hoping that we can stop the outbreak," Mull said.

That's why this fall, all new students under the age of 26 must get vaccinated before registering for classes.

"I was like, 'Ok, gotta get the vaccine now.' Kind of push you to it," Krause said.

Hundreds of students already came through, and Mull hopes that everyone is immunized by the end of the term.

"Everyone wants to be healthy especially when you're living in a dorm and so close to each other. People don't want to get sick," Krause said.

More information and details on the next immunization clinic can be found through the university's website.

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