Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 72° Clear

WSU advises meningitis vaccine

Two patients infected with same strain of bacteria

Washington State University is advising students on the Pullman campus, particularly those living in dense residential housing, to be vaccinated against meningitis. The advisory follows the hospitalization of a 19-year-old student who was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis in early December. That student is currently recovering at home, according to a statement today by the university. There currently are no reported cases of meningitis at WSU However, the December infection appears to have come after a case of meningococcal pneumonia in the fall, said Dr. Bruce Wright, executive director of WSU Health and Wellness Services. “The first case, which occurred back in September, was a bit unusual in that it was a case of acute pneumonia, not meningitis,” Wright said. But after the pneumonia patient was released from the hospital, blood tests revealed the presence of Neisseria meningitidis serotype Y, the same strain as in the December case. Both students had received the meningitis vaccine, Menactra, three years before becoming infected. “Unfortunately, all meningitis vaccinations tend to lose their effectiveness over time,” Wright said. Public health experts recommend booster vaccinations for students vaccinated more than two years ago, particularly those living in close quarters. Meningitis is the infectious inflammation of tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningococcal meningitis is transferred through saliva by sharing eating, drinking or smoking materials, for example, or by sexual contact. Symptoms may include headaches, stiff neck, high fever, rash, nausea, vomiting and joint pain. Meningitis vaccine is available through private health care providers and the public health department. Students also may be vaccinated at the WSU Health and Wellness Services.
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.