Princeton University can import vaccine to combat meningitis outbreak

Princeton University has seen an outbreak of meningitis.
Princeton University has seen an outbreak of meningitis.

A meningitis vaccine approved for use in Europe and Australia but not in the United States can be imported to try to stop an outbreak of the disease at Princeton University in New Jersey, federal health officials said.

The Food and Drug Administration agreed this week to the importation of the vaccine, Bexsero, for potential use on the Ivy League campus, Barbara Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Saturday.

The school, which has about 7,900 students, reported its seventh case of the year this week, said university spokesman Martin Mbugua.

Bexsero, a new vaccine made by Swiss drugmaker Novartis, is designed to protect against a strain of the disease, serogroup B, that is not as common in the United States as it is in other parts of the world, Reynolds said.

The outbreak of serogroup B meningitis at Princeton is rare but not the first of its kind in the United States, Reynolds said.

“What’s a little different now is this is the first time we’ve had an outbreak and also have had the possibility of using a vaccine that could protect against it,” she said.

The university’s trustees are meeting this weekend to discuss the outbreak. Mbugua would not talk about the nature of those discussions or what day they would be held.

“I will not pre-empt the trustees’ discussion by talking about it beforehand,” he said.

Reynolds said she did not have a timetable for how quickly the vaccine could be available. Its use would be optional for students at Princeton, she said.

The most recent case at the school was diagnosed last Sunday, Mbugua said. Six of those affected are students, and one was a visitor, he said.

The student who most recently became ill remains hospitalized, according to the New Jersey Department of Health. Five other students have recovered, and the visitor’s case is being followed by another state health department. The first case was reported in March.

Meningitis is a serious disease that is spread through coughing and exchanges of saliva, and people living in dormitories or other crowded living quarters are especially at risk.

There is a vaccine available in the United States for other strains of the disease, Reynolds said. The CDC recommends the vaccine for children and students before they head off to college.

Bacterial meningitis can cause the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord to swell. The most severe cases can result in death, hearing loss, brain damage, kidney disease or require the amputation of limbs.

Symptoms include fever, headaches and stiff neck.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.