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What You Should Know About Meningococcal Disease

Meningococcal (me-nin-je-kok-ul) disease is a serious illness caused by bacteria that can infect the blood or areas around the brain and spinal cord. Infection can lead to brain damage, disability, and rapid death.

It is well known that the close quarters of campus residence hall living puts students at increased risk for meningococcal disease.

It is important to get a meningococcal vaccination. If the first dose was given prior to age 16, a booster dose is needed for students entering college.

Practice good hygiene measures such as not smoking, avoiding secondhand smoke, and not sharing drinking and eating utensils and other items that have contacted saliva. Practice good nutrition and get plenty of sleep.

Know the early signs of the disease (sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck). It can start with symptoms similar to influenza (flu), and will often also cause nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, rash, and confusion. It is important to get quick treatment.

For more information view the Meningococcal Disease Flyer published by the California Department of Public Health.