Same meningitis strain behind Drexel, Princeton outbreaks

March 18, 2014
Same meningitis strain behind drexel, princeton outbreaks: CDC
Drexel student recently died from the bacterial infection.

(HealthDay)—The strain of bacterial meningitis that killed a Drexel University student earlier this month is the same strain behind a Princeton University outbreak last year, federal health officials said Tuesday.

This suggests that the outbreak strain might still be present in the Princeton community and that the situation requires close monitoring, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After the Drexel student died March 10, the local health department identified people who had been in close contact with the student and gave them antibiotics to protect them from developing meningitis. So far, no further cases of meningitis have been reported among Drexel students.

The investigation also revealed that the student had been in close contact with Princeton students about a week before becoming ill.

Drexel University is located in Philadelphia, and Princeton University is in New Jersey.

In response to last year's meningitis outbreak at Princeton, a began on Dec. 9. A large percentage of undergraduate and eligible graduate students received the recommended two doses of the investigational vaccine used for this "B" strain of meningitis. The vaccine is not yet approved in the United States.

However, vaccinated people can still carry the meningitis bacteria in their throats and infect others through close contact, the CDC said.

Because there is no at Drexel, the university community there is not considered to be at increased risk. No vaccination program has been launched, but university officials and the local department of health are taking all the recommended measures to prevent additional cases of , according to the CDC.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation and determine next steps while local health authorities remain vigilant to recognizing and promptly treating any new cases," the agency said in a news release. "At this time, CDC does not recommend limiting social interactions or canceling travel plans as a preventive measure for meningococcal disease."

The CDC also said there is no evidence that family members and other people are at increased risk of being infected through casual contact with Princeton students, faculty or staff. People at highest risk are those who have close, prolonged or face-to-face contact with an infected person.

"Students at both universities should be especially vigilant to the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease and seek urgent treatment if suspected," CDC officials said. "Symptoms may include sudden onset of a high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing or a rash. Hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes are also good practices to follow."

Explore further: Princeton students safe to travel despite meningitis outbreak: CDC

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about bacterial meningitis.

Related Stories

Princeton students safe to travel despite meningitis outbreak: CDC

November 26, 2013
(HealthDay)—Despite recent outbreaks of bacterial meningitis at Princeton University and the University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S. heath officials said Monday that students are safe to travel home for the Thanksgiving ...

Princeton to offer meningitis B vaccine to 6,000

November 26, 2013
Princeton University says a meningitis vaccine not yet licensed for use in the U.S. will be made available on campus starting Dec. 9 to nearly 6,000 students.

Novartis meningitis vaccine used at 2nd US campus

February 24, 2014
(AP)—Swiss drug maker Novartis says a second U.S. university is using its new vaccine against meningitis B.

Princeton starts mass meningitis B vaccinations (Update 2)

December 9, 2013
Princeton University has begun vaccinating nearly 6,000 students to try to stop an outbreak of type B meningitis in an unusual federal government-endorsed administration of a drug not generally approved for use in the United ...

Princeton U. to give students meningitis B vaccine (Update 2)

November 18, 2013
Princeton University officials decided Monday to make available a meningitis vaccine that hasn't been approved in the U.S. to stop the spread of the sometimes deadly disease on campus.

Princeton vaccine reaches 90 percent of eligible

December 13, 2013
Princeton University officials say more than 90 percent of the eligible students and staff received a meningitis vaccine this week as part of the university's effort to halt an outbreak.

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.