Procedures protect MU students from meningitis

State law requires all students living in residential halls receive a vaccine for meningitis.

Princeton University officials in New Jersey plan to use a vaccine not approved in the United States to fight an outbreak of meningitis on their campus.

Princeton officials will make the meningitis vaccine available in early December. Since March, 7 people at Princeton University have contracted meningitis B.

Mizzou officials have plans and procedures to help prevent the spread of this potentially deadly disease. Mizzou officials require all students living in dorms to get a meningitis vaccination. That rule applies to all Missouri colleges.

MU spokesman Christian Basi said, â??Not only is it a University policy, but it is a state law that requires all students living in residential halls receive this vaccine for meningitis.â??

Meningitis spreads through close contact including coughing, kissing, sneezing and sharing food and drinks. MU Health Care researcher Dr. Michael Cooperstock said meningitis B can be deadly but says that strain is very rare.

Cooperstock said, â??It usually evolves over a matter of hours. A person gets worse and worse and worse. They come to the ER after just a few hours of being sick. Thatâ??s already one tip off that itâ??s happening and moving quickly.â??

According to the Center for Disease Control, 1 in 10 people who contract meningitis B will die from the disease. 1 in 5 survivors will have a permanent disability.Other than a vaccination, doctors said one of the best ways to prevent meningitis is to frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water.