AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – UMass is planning to hold a large-scale vaccination program to protect its students from Meningitis. Meningitis is an uncommon bacterial infection, and if its not treated, it can kill you.
UMass Amherst declared a Meningitis outbreak on campus this week, after two students tested positive for it in October and November.
“I think vaccinations are good, but it’s still just two cases,” UMass Senior Trent Kindvall told 22News. “I feel like until we have more than that its just, but getting vaccinated is a good step to making sure there are not more.”
Meningititis is a bacterial infection that affects the lining of the brain and spinal cord. It can also cause a severe blood infection. UMass health officials are urging all students to be vaccinated.
Meningococcal Meningitis strikes fewer than 3,000 people in the United States each year, many of them college students.
“The students were given the vaccine, but there was a strain of Meningococcal that wasn’t in some of the older vaccines,” Dr. R.F. Conway of AEIOU Urgent Care told 22News. “The new vaccine that’s available for that does have coverage for that.”
According to Dr. Conway, newer vaccine formulas now protect against this Serogroup B strain, which is the strain that infected both UMass students.
Students will go to the Student Union and line up outside these doors. They’ll be met by a greeter and then walked into the Cap Cod Lounge room.
They’ll check themselves in on computers that will be lined along tables. In the back there will be an EMT, as well doctors to answer any questions they may have. From there, they’ll walk themselves through the double doors to be vaccinated.
The swelling from meningitis typically triggers symptoms such as headache, fever and a stiff neck.