The following message was distributed to the OSU community on October 27, 2017, and is available in ArabicChinese, and Spanish.

OSU Corvallis students,

You may be aware that an undergraduate student attending Oregon State University in Corvallis is being treated for meningococcal disease. We are writing to inform you that lab testing indicates that this infection is the B strain of meningococcal disease – the same type that infected three students on the Corvallis campus during the last academic year. At present, there is only one reported case this academic year.

Please be aware that meningococcal disease is uncommon, but it is a serious disease. Those at highest risk include students age 25 and younger who live in residence halls and in private cooperative group living units, or are members of - or visit - fraternal living groups associated with the university. 

Meningococcal disease is not highly contagious and is transmitted through direct contact with droplets from an ill person coughing or sneezing; other discharges from the nose or throat; or by sharing of eating and drinking utensils, smoking devices; or intimate contact.

Health officials encourage everyone to monitor their own health and note the following symptoms specific to this disease: high fever, a rash, headache, stiff neck, exhaustion, nausea or vomiting. If these symptoms develop, seek prompt medical evaluation.

The best way to prevent meningococcal disease is by vaccination. To promote good public health, the university will have two immunization clinics for students this month for meningitis as well as other vaccines:

Meningococcal B Immunization Clinic

Wednesday, Nov. 8
MU Multi-Purpose Room 13
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Immunizations Offered: Meningococcal (MCV4) and Meningococcal B

Immunization Clinic

Tuesday, Nov. 21
MU Journey Room 104
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Immunizations Offered: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR), Varicella (Chickenpox), Hepatitis, Tetanus Diphtheria Pertussis (Tdap), Meningococcal (MCV4) and Meningococcal B.

Additionally, OSU Student Health Services (SHS) and the Student Health Pharmacy continue to provide students meningococcal B vaccines in Plageman Hall, 108 S.W. Memorial Place. Many other health care providers in the community have the meningococcal B vaccine available on request.

SHS staff will be available to at the clinics to answer questions about individual vaccine needs as well as insurance coverage.

Important Insurance Information

Before attending the vaccination clinics, students (or their family members) are encouraged to contact their private insurance provider to verify insurance coverage for the vaccine. When speaking with an insurance representative, it is important to mention that OSU Corvallis campus has been designated an “outbreak” status by federal, state and county public health officials.

For those receiving vaccines, SHS will bill students’ insurance plans, including the Oregon Health Plan. Vaccines for domestic and international students on OSU’s two sponsored plans (Aetna Student Health or Pacific Source) will be fully covered.

Many private insurance plans cover the cost of the Meningococcal B vaccine, and SHS is working to ensure as many insurance plans as possible cover the vaccine when given at OSU. SHS will assist international students and others who have plans that do not cover the vaccine if provided at OSU to receive a vaccine at an alternate location. Students 18 or younger without insurance can receive the vaccination through benefits provided by the Oregon Health Plan.

Regardless of your insurance status, it is important that students take the time to be vaccinated.

Oregon State requires incoming students under the age of 22 to have the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine (MCV4), which covers multiple strains of the disease but not the B strain. Starting this fall, the university also began requiring incoming students age 25 and under to receive the meningococcal B vaccine series due to three confirmed cases on campus during the last academic year.

For questions about insurance coverage, please contact the SHS Billing Office at 541-737-8370. SHS staff will be at the vaccine clinics to assist with insurance questions as well. Please be sure to bring insurance information to the clinic.

More information on meningococcal disease is available by calling the OSU Student Health Services Nurse Advice line at 541-737-2724 or Benton County Health Department communicable disease nurses at 541-766-6835 or by visiting these websites:

http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/infectious-diseases/meningococcal-disease

http://healthoregon.org/mening

Sincerely,

Dan Larson
Interim Vice Provost
Student Affairs