FLORENCE -- Recently, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta recommended that colleges and health-care providers inform students, especially freshmen living in dormitories, about the risks of meningococcal disease, and offer them a vaccine to prevent it.
Though there have been no cases of meningitis reported on the Francis Marion University campus, FMU’s Student Health Services is making the vaccine for the condition available to students.
Known as Menomune, the vaccine is 85 percent effective against certain strains of a bacterium, Neisseria meningitidis. The microbe can cause both meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, and meningococcemia, an even deadlier, less-common infection of the blood. The disease strikes about 2,800 Americans each year. In 1998-99, 83 cases of meningococcal disease, six of them fatal, were reported among college students.
FMU’s Student Health Services will provide the immunization upon the request of students at the cost of $90. Students must make an appointment to receive it. For more information, contact Student Health Services at 843-673-9855.