Meningitis strain was ‘unusual,’ doc says


Judith A. O’Donnell, chief of infectious diseases at Penn-Presbyterian Medical Center, said the specific and uncommon type of the meningitis strain that killed a Drexel engineering student isn’t fought by the typical inoculation.

A Center for Disease Control and Prevention report issued Tuesday found that the same strain of a meningitis bacterial infection that killed a Drexel University sophomore last week also infected close to 10 others at Princeton University last year.

Princeton officials said 19-year-old Stephanie Ross had been in contact with Princeton students who visited a party in the city a week before she fell ill.

“The reason why it’s of concern, is because the last few years, there has been recommendations to vaccinate adolescents and college-age young people against meningitis,” she said, “but the vaccine doesn’t cover this particularly unusual strain.”

Be careful, O’Donnell said. “While the college students are generally vaccinated against the other strains, they can still be susceptible to this strain.”

How it’s spread

At any given time about 10 percent of the population carries the bacteria that causes meningitis, but carriers can still spread it without being effected by it.

It’s spread through close, direct contact. Especially if you live in close quarters with other people, such as in military barracks, college dorm.

It could also be spread through kissing and sexual contact, and through shared utensils,


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