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Published On: Sun, May 12th, 2013

Update: Princeton meningitis case confirmed positive for Neisseria meningitidis group B

In a follow up to a report last week, Princeton University has announced that a student that was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis last Tuesday, has been confirmed to have an infection with Neisseria meningitidis group B, according to a University Emergency Guidelines issued May 10.

meningococcus

Neisseria meningitidis
Image/CDC

The University reports the student has been receiving treatment at a local hospital for bacterial meningitis is recovering. There have been no new reported cases since the student was hospitalized Monday night.

In the United States, almost all cases of meningococcal meningitis are caused by serogroups B, C and Y.

Currently, there are two vaccines in the United States ,meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune®), and meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra® and Menveo®), that protect against Neisseria meningitidis.

However, they only protect against Neisseria meningitidis Serogroups A, C, Y and W-135. There is currently no licensed vaccine that protects against serogroup B in the U.S.

The same type of bacteria was present in two other cases of bacterial meningitis associated with the University in March and April.

University Health Services and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety are encouraging members of the University community to pay increased attention to personal hygienic practices.

Meningococcal meningitis is caused by the bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis, which causes the most severe form of bacterial meningitis. Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It can also be found in the bloodstream. This particular type of meningitis is very severe and can result in death if not treated promptly. Even in cases where treatment has been given, the fatality rate is around 15%.

The symptoms of bacterial meningitis are sudden, with fever, stiff neck, body aches and headaches. As the disease progresses other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, photophobia and seizures. A petechial rash seen on the trunk and lower extremities, bleeding complications, multi-organ failures and shock are usually final signs. This disease has the ability to kill within hours of getting it.

Up to 10-20% of older children and young adults carry this organism in the mouth and nose, though the carriage rate will vary with age and closeness of population. The majority of people that carry this bacterium have no clinical disease. The organism is spread person to person through respiratory secretions from the nose and mouth (coughing, sneezing and kissing). Experts are unsure why some people advance to meningitis disease while many do not.

Crowded living conditions facilitate the spread of the organism and places like military barracks and college dormitories are well documented areas of concern with this disease.

If you have close contact with someone with meningococcal meningitis, see your doctor for prophylacticantibiotics.

Meningococcal meningitis is a devastating disease with epidemic potential. This disease is considered amedical emergency and if you have the classic symptoms see your health care professional. It can be treated with antibiotics, but without delay.

One year ago, researchers at St. Louis University’s Center for Vaccine Development announced they were conducting clinical trials on an investigational vaccine for meningococcal B disease.

This past January,  the European Union approved, Bexsero,  the first vaccine for the prevention of  bacterial meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis group B.

Princeton said members of the University community who experience symptoms or have health concerns may visit the University’s McCosh Health Center or call (609) 258-3141 during business hours, and (609) 258-3139 after hours.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Princeton University reports fourth case of bacterial meningitis since March (Video) | Family Survival Protocol - Microcosm News says:

    […] Update: Princeton meningitis case confirmed positive for Neisseria meningitidis group B (theglobaldispatch.com) […]

  2. Epidemic Hazard – State of Illinois, Chicago : A case of the disease that causes meningitis has been reported in Chicago | Family Survival Protocol - Microcosm News says:

    […] Update: Princeton meningitis case confirmed positive for Neisseria meningitidis group B (theglobaldispatch.com) […]

  3. MUSAorg says:

    The Meningitis Foundation of America (MFA), a national organization, would like the public & media to know that information is available regarding the diagnosis, treatment & prevention of meningitis. MFA was founded in 1997 by parents whose children were affected by meningitis. In addition to supporting vaccination & preventing meningitis, the MFA provides information to educate the public & medical professionals so that the early diagnosis, treatment &, most important, prevention of meningitis, will save lives. Meningitis is a dangerous & often times fatal inflammation of the brain &/or spinal cord that can leave survivors with serious life-long physical problems MFA would like to be considered as a news resource for the disease. For further information, visit the MFA website at www musa org.

    Thank you,
    MFA
    Box 1818
    El Mirage AZ 85335
    480 270 2652
    World Meningitis Day 24 April 2014
    www comoonline org
    Educate~Vaccinate~Eradicate

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