In an attempt to maintain a campus lifestyle of good health, Temple University’s office of Student Health services will hold a “one day only” vaccination clinic for meningoccal meningitis.
The clinic will be operating Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. in room 302 of the Student Activities Center.
“Meningoccal Meningitis is a dangerous disease requiring early and aggressive treatment to prevent a debilitating and potentially fatal outcom,” said Dr. Ilene Moore, Director of Student Health Services in a memo.
According to the web site, www.vacess.com, meningoccal meningitis is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation of membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
The contraction of the illness could lead to debilitating side effects such as deafness and damage to the brain.
The most common symptoms include high fevers, neck stiffness, the development of rashes, and a conjunction of nausea and vomiting.
For students who take valuable time out of their day and sacrificed $85 dollars out of their bank account, or have the vaccination charged to their parents, they can now flourish knowing that their bodies are immune to meningoccal meningitis.
Knowingly or unknowingly, those who chose not to get the vaccination are putting themselves in treacherous conditions of contracting the illness.
It has only been in recent years that meningoccal meningitis started rearing its ugly head to the public, and seemingly, the illness takes a serious liking towards the grounds of college campuses and dormitories.
A college student can contract the illness simply by living and working in close contact with each other.
That is why students living in dorms are more vulnerable, freshman most commonly fall victim to the disease.
The American College Association did a study of locations where meningoccal meningitis was constantly reported, and the results showed that 10% of outbreaks occurred on college campuses.
High intakes of alcohol and cigarette smoking both speed up the process of the illness, and it is no secret that drinking and the smoking of cigarettes are common practice on college campuses.
“Although a rare disease, the number of cases has risen dramatically in recent years with about one-third of the cases occurring in college campuses”, said Dr. Moore.
“Recent studies have shown college freshman living in dormitories to be at a slightly higher risk.”
According to a report from the Center for Disease Control in 1999, the vaccination does not provide complete protection from all strains of meningitis, however it lowers the odds of contracting the infection to well below the rate of those who do not receive a vaccination.
One can compare meningoccal meningitis to a volcano ready to erupt, and it is unfortunate that college campuses will feel a good portion of the effects.
Even with early treatment and identification, which can be difficult, almost 15% of those who contract the disease will die as a result.
While another 10% will suffer from permanent physical damage caused by the infection.
That is a good reason for setting up a clinic because “so many remain vulnerable to a number of vaccine preventable diseases such as bacterial meningoccal meningitis,” says Dr. Moore.
Jonothan Vann can be reached at Temple_News@hotmail.com