Health Experts Declared Meningococcal Outbreak Onset in Oregon


With three confirmed meningococcal cases over a relatively short timespan, Oregon health officials fear they are witnessing the early stages of a full-blown outbreak.

Recently, health experts confirmed a case of meningococcal disease at Oregon State University. The announcement came after the strain has been lying dormant for quite some time now, and awoke only to set the stage for a full-blown outbreak, state health officials declared. The OSU student became ill last fall and is now recovering under close medical observation.

Meningococcal Cases

The student that has contracted the illness is the third to have been diagnosed with meningococcal disease. On Thursday, March 2nd, officials said the victim contracted the B strain of the disease. While the vaccines proved effective for A strains, it seems the serum does not protect the population against the secondary strain.

The sufferer has been admitted at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center on February 23rd. Health experts say the student is in good condition. However, the patients’ names have not been released to the press because of federal privacy restrictions. In November 2016, two other Oregon State University students were hospitalized and subsequently released from medical care upon completing the treatment sessions.

Meningococcal Disease

Health experts say the illness affects primarily young individuals, usually under 25 years of age. Good news is the disease is not highly contagious. However, it is still aggressive enough to claim lives, as meningitis can prove fatal. In addition, meningitis is also responsible for severe circulation issues that could lead to amputation in some cases.

At the moment, Benton County and Oregon State University health officials identified 43 people that could have been exposed to the infected student. In response, all of them have been treated with antibiotics to stop further spreading of the disease, said Benton County Health Department’s deputy director, Charlie Fautin. Also, as the sick student lived in an off-campus apartment, OSU officials said that no one else is believed to be at risk from exposure.

In light of the events, all Oregon State University students are recommended to get vaccinated. For this purpose, the educational facility scheduled vaccination clinics for students from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday at McAlexander Fieldhouse on the Corvallis campus.

University officials estimate upward to 7,000 students are eligible for receiving the vaccine, with 1500 to 1800 students living in sororities, fraternities, and other off-campus group housing facilities and approximately 5,000 students living in campus dorms.

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About Andreas Petersen

Andreas was too little to remember when he and his parents first set foot in America. He considers himself a true American citizen, but uses every opportunity to promote his Danish origins. He is deeply found of politics, all nations’ politics and generally looks forward to the presidential elections. His BA degree in Political Sciences has helped him get familiar to the constitutional frames of US and non-US nations.