Rutgers urges students to get meningitis vaccinations

Posted: Updated:

Rutgers University is urging students to get vaccinations due to a likely outbreak of bacterial meningitis.

Two Rutgers University students were hospitalized in February after they were diagnosed with the infection.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Chancellor Brian Strom says that while officials can't predict whether there will be new cases, tests from the two previous cases suggest there is an outbreak.

The university is recommending vaccinations against meningitis type B for all undergraduates and graduates who live in undergraduate residence halls. Students are already required to get vaccinations against meningitis types A, C, W and Y in order to attend the university.

RELATED: CDC: 2 Rutgers students test positive for meningitis; school suggests outbreak 
RELATED: Rutgers: 2nd student hospitalized with bacterial meningitis 

News 12 New Jersey spoke with some Rutgers students who say that they are concerned because some of their fellow students do not seem to be in a hurry to get vaccinated.

"It concerns me a little bit…it’s extremely contagious and hard to tell when you have it. So I don't see why you wouldn't just go get a shot,” says Shay Loos.

University officials say that there haven’t been any newly reported cases of the illness since February.

Students can get the vaccine at student health centers. Vaccination clinics will be held for students after they return from spring break, which starts next week.

Meningitis is an infection of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that cause the infection can spread through kissing, coughing and sharing beverages.

Signs and symptoms of infection include high fever, headache, stiff neck and a rash.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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