Meningococcal Disease (CDC)

Update from Rutgers New Brunswick

Meningococcal disease-What you should know

As you may have heard, there were two cases of meningococcal disease at Rutgers (New Brunswick) in March and April 2016. Both were confirmed to be B-type.

Meningococcal disease, which includes meningitis and a blood infection, is caused by the bacteria, Neisseria meningitidis.  There are five different strains of this bacteria.  The vaccine that most students have had, which is recommended for adolescents and college age adults protects against 4 of the strains.  There are two new vaccines licensed in the US for type B- this is the strain associated with the current cases at Rutgers.

What are the symptoms?

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Rash-flat purple or red
  • Photophobia-sensitivity to light
  • Confusion

Anyone experiencing symptoms should be seen as soon as possible.

How is it spread? 

Direct contact with saliva.  Such as:

  • Sharing drinks
  • Sharing eating utensils or food
  • Kissing
  • Sharing cigarettes
  • Sharing lip balm
  • Being in close proximity for long time-living in same house

It is not spread by casual contact.