College students may be at risk for certain vaccine-preventable diseases. In addition to the required measles immunization, we recommend WSU students stay up-to-date with several other important immunizations.
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- HPV (Gardasil 9)
- Influenza (each year at the start of flu season)
- Meningitis (MCV4)
- Meningitis B (BEXSERO)
- Td (tetanus diphtheria)
- Tdap (tetanus diphtheria acellular pertussis)
Meningococcal disease, also known as meningitis, is a rare but serious illness. Young adults are at a higher risk for meningitis, especially those in living in close quarters such as residence halls or Greek housing.
For full protection, we strongly recommend students receive both the standard meningitis vaccine and the meningitis type B vaccine, especially for those under age 25 who live in residence halls and Greek housing.
The type B vaccine covers the recent bacteria strain not included in the standard 4-strain vaccine that many students received as adolescents. We provide the standard meningitis vaccine as well as the type B vaccine.
Symptoms of meningitis include:
- Light sensitivity
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
- Rash (flat, dark purple spots on arms, legs, then torso)
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Feeling very drowsy or weak
Bacteria spreads when there is close or prolonged contact with an infected person. The primary means for meningococcal bacteria to spread is through respiratory secretions. To reduce the spread of meningitis:
- Get vaccinated
- Avoid kissing
- Avoid smoking
- Practice respiratory etiquette
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- Use hand sanitizer
- Do not share eating utensils, lipstick or lip balm, tissues, water bottles or toothbrushes
For more information about meningococcal disease and the meningitis B outbreaks, visit the CDC’s resources on meningococcal disease.