[CUA Office of Public Affairs]

Contact: Chris Harrison

Meningitis Vaccinations to be Offered at CUA

Students at The Catholic University of America will be offered vaccinations for meningitis from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 19, in the University Center East Main Lounge.

This marks the second year CUA has partnered with VACCESSHealth to provide vaccinations for meningitis, a bacterial disease that disproportionately strikes undergraduate college students, particularly freshmen. The disease, which can be fatal, infects the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include fever, severe headaches, stiff neck, rash, nausea, vomiting and lethargy.

No meningitis cases have been reported at CUA.

Recent research indicates college students are more at risk of contracting the disease because their immune systems often are depressed and they are living in close quarters with so many other people, said Terry Brady-Novak, nurse practitioner and administrative director of the student health center at CUA. Other risk factors include exposure to active and passive smoking, alcohol consumption and bar patronage, she added.

The Centers for Disease Control recently recommended college students get the shot, which protects recipients against four out of the five strains of the disease. These four strains cause nearly 70 percent of the meningococcal meningitis cases on college campuses, according to VACCESSHealth.

The shots will be offered for $75. Insurance forms will be provided for students to submit to their individual health plans for reimbursement. While staff and faculty are not considered particularly at risk of contracting the disease, they are eligible for the vaccination program, Ms. Brady-Novak said. For more information, contact the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600 or CUA Health Services at 202-319-5744.

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