Note to campus visitors from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:We recognize that when cases of meningococcal disease occur, there is increased concern about the potential spread of disease and desire to take appropriate steps to prevent additional cases. There is no evidence that family members and the community are at increased risk of getting meningococcal disease from casual contact with students, faculty, or staff at institutions experiencing outbreaks. Therefore, CDC does not recommend limiting social interactions or canceling travel plans as a preventive measure for meningococcal disease. Instead, we continue to recommend that people remain vigilant to the symptoms of meningococcal disease and seek treatment immediately if they experience any of those symptoms.
Additionally, there is no evidence that says you are at risk of catching the infection by touching surfaces like doorknobs or keyboards. A small number of the bacteria may survive for a few hours on surfaces, but most die quickly. However, hand washing and covering your cough or sneeze are good hygiene practices to follow.
A: In October 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a meningitis B vaccine, Trumenba, made by Pfizer. This vaccine requires three doses - initial, second dose after two months, third dose after six months. In January 2015, the FDA approved Bexsero, the meningitis B vaccine by Novartis. This vaccine requires two doses, spaced at least one month apart.
While both vaccines are licensed for individuals ages 10 through 25, medical experts have not yet made recommendations as to whom should receive them. Thus, while all physicians have access to the vaccines, not all will have it in stock.
A: No. The CDC and state health officials do not recommend cancelling or curtailing activities on the PC campus. There is no recommendation for the surrounding community to avoid contact with Providence College or with PC students.
A: No. The CDC and state health officials have not recommended cancelling or curtailing activities on the PC campus.
A: CDC investigations and the published medical literature have not identified any serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreaks or clusters associated with sporting events.
A: No. There is no recommendation to take antibiotics before attending events or activities at Providence College. Only people who have been in close contact with a suspect or confirmed case of meningococcal need to be considered for preventive treatment.
A: According to the CDC, overnight visits with undergraduates in a dormitory should not on its own pose an increased risk to the visitor. Visitors should be vigilant about not sharing cups, utensils, smoking materials, cosmetics, etc.
A: No, the cases are not related. While the cases at both the University of California-Santa Barbara and Princeton involve serogroup B meningococcal bacteria, the genetic strains of the bacteria are not the same.
For more information about meningococcal vaccination, including serogroup B meningococcal vaccines, see information from CDC (http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/mening/default.htm).