Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks

Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease Outbreaks

The following information on serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreaks is provided by the American College Health Association's (ACHA) Vaccine-Preventable Disease Advisory Committee after consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The ongoing serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak at Princeton University brings national attention to an issue of longstanding importance to the college health community. The dramatic decline in cases of meningococcal disease since the late 1990s coincides with the widespread use of the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine in adolescents and students entering college. 

Outbreaks of serogroup B meningococcal disease are rare. Since the first case last spring, Princeton officials have collaborated diligently with local and state public health officials and the CDC. After the third case (which defines an outbreak), CDC initiated discussions with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for permission to acquire Bexsero, the serogroup B meningococcal vaccine that is licensed in Europe and Australia, to be made available for this specific outbreak. Cases of meningococcal disease are reportable in every state, and no spread beyond the Princeton campus has occurred or is expected. 

Additional Resources

It is well known that the close quarters of campus residence hall living puts students at increased risk for meningococcal disease. The following education may help reduce risk:

If you have any additional questions, please contact our Community Health Nurse, Judy Stevens at (603) 862-3823.