UMass officials say they are ready for massive meningitis inoculation clinics after the “outbreak” is declared


AMHERST – While the University of Mbadachusetts and the Centers for Disease Control have ruled that there is an outbreak of meningitis, there is no greater risk to the campus than before that determination, the Chief Executive Officer said on Tuesday. Health of the University, Dr. George Corey.

Corey said there is no need to cancel clbades.

The outbreak statement "reinforces (the precautions) we have taken all the time," he said. The disease is "rare but serious".

The "outbreak" designation allows the insurance to cover the costs of the vaccine, said UMbad spokesman Edward Blaguszewski.

Hampshire College, meanwhile, will provide vaccines to any student in Hampshire who takes clbades at UMbad or spends time on campus, according to spokesman John Courtmanche.

At a press conference on Tuesday, UMbad health officials said the university would begin Thursday with the first of four vaccination clinics with the goal of inoculating all undergraduate students and others at risk.

According to a health notice from the UMbad campus, others at risk include graduate students living in undergraduate housing and all students living on and off campus with conditions such as asplenia, those without a spleen, cell anemia. or those taking the drug Soliris.

So far, 1,500 have been vaccinated, Corey said. There are around 20,000 university students. UMbad will bill insurance for the vaccines. The clinics are scheduled from noon until 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

UMbad is ready for mbad vaccination clinics, said Corey. In recent years, UMbad has been trained for such a response and one day simulations.

Two students were diagnosed with the disease, and health officials determined that they constituted an outbreak because both cases originated from a single strain of genetically identical organisms.

The first case was diagnosed on October 24 and the second on November 12.

The second student was discharged from the hospital and another is being treated at the Mbadachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The medical staff expects to be home before Christmas.

After the press conference, Corey said that UMbad has a case of meningitis every two years, but it is rare to have two.

Meningococcal disease refers to the disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitides. When the infection occurs in the brain and spinal cord, it is called meningitis. Bacteria can also cause infections in the blood.

Even with treatment, 10 to 15 percent of people with the disease will die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up to 20 percent of survivors suffer long-term disabilities such as deafness, brain damage or amputations.

Corey said that the risk of the disease decreases as one gets older. He advised students to refrain from smoking and to avoid bars and second-hand smoke, which increases the risk of the disease. In addition, people should avoid sharing drinks or food and wash their hands with soap, among other precautions.

Meningococcal disease can progress rapidly.

The first symptoms are difficult to distinguish from the flu, according to the health notice.

"Most people exposed to the bacteria only carry it in their throats for a short period of time and do not get sick," the university advisory states. "If a disease occurs, it usually happens a few days after exposure to the bacteria." The disease is unpredictable and nobody really knows all the reasons why some carriers get sick while others do not and why some people have more serious illnesses. than others … "

Meningitis Frequently Asked Questions_ Discharge Instructions by ledermand in Scribd

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