Communicable Disease Service

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Meningococcal Invasive Disease

Princeton University Meningococcal Disease Outbreak, 2013-2014

Situational Update updated (07/17/2015)

An outbreak of nine cases of serogroup (type) B meningococcal disease, associated with Princeton University, occurred between March 2013 and March 2014. All nine cases were caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup (type) B. The NJDOH, local health officials, Princeton University Health Services (UHS), in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), worked together to closely monitor the situation and stop the spread of disease. The University undertook a comprehensive effort involving numerous campus offices, student organizations and public health agencies to limit the illness and encourage students to get vaccinated. Ninety-eight percent of Princeton undergraduates have received at least one dose of the meningitis B vaccine and there have been no cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease occurring on campus or affecting Princeton students since November 2013.

As of March 2015, the risk of meningitis B at Princeton University is now considered the same as at any other university. CDC officials indicated that the risk level was reduced due to the passage of time since the last case.

NJDOH continues to stress basic infection prevention activities such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, cleaning your hands, and practicing healthy habits. Individuals should remain vigilant (have increased awareness) for signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease. Individuals who are ill should not attend school or work to prevent the spread of disease to others.

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