A fifth student at the University of Oregon was diagnosed with Neisseria meningococcemia on March 12.
As with previous cases, the university immediately notified classmates and faculty members. In this case, the UO also contacted members of the patient’s fraternity, and other students who the patient identified as having been at social events with him in recent days.
The patient is hospitalized and responsive, and is assisting with information about recent close contacts. Lane County Public Health is currently reaching out to other individuals who would meet the close contact guidelines with instructions on obtaining the short-term antibiotic prophylaxis.
The student resides at an off-campus apartment complex with three roommates. Each roommate has been contacted and antibiotic treatment is being administered.
“It is important to note that those students who recently received the first dose of a vaccination series to protect against meningitis should still seek the antibiotics preventative if they meet the criteria for close contact as full immunity is not achieved until the final vaccination is received,” said Mike Eyster, executive director of the University Health Center and senior associate vice president for Student Life.
As follow up to the four-day mass vaccination effort, the UO has arranged with partners at Safeway to have a vaccination opportunity open to all college-age students on Friday, March 13, at the 13th & Olive complex, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m., in the Club House on the Willamette Street side of 13th Avenue and Olive Street.
Students should bring their student ID, insurance card (if possible) and wear a short-sleeved shirt.
UO undergraduate students with health insurance, who are unable to attend the March 13 clinic can get the vaccine at any Safeway, Albertsons or Walgreens in the State of Oregon, and their insurance will be billed directly and the vaccine will be provided at no cost to them.
Students who don’t have insurance or are covered by VA insurance, the UO AETNA plan or Oregon Health Plan can get the vaccine at no cost to them at the University Health Center by calling to make an appointment at 541-346-2770.
More than 8,500 students received the first dose of the Meningitis B vaccine over the past few weeks, including significant numbers of residence hall students, members of Fraternity and Sorority Life and first and second-year students.
“While thousands of students have participated in vaccination efforts, we have more work to do to encourage student to take preventative steps for their health and everyone who received the first dose needs to complete the series of immunizations to be fully protected,” Eyster said.
For more information, including community pharmacy and Health Center hours, visit meningitis.uoregon.edu.
—By Julie Brown, Public Affairs Communications