To all OSU faculty and staff,
We are writing to inform you that an undergraduate student attending Oregon State University in Corvallis is being treated at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center for what has been confirmed as meningococcal disease. The student remains hospitalized in good condition.
This is the third reported case of the B strain of meningococcal disease at Oregon State over the past four months. Two other cases were reported in November 2016.
As a result of these three cases, the university will follow the protocols of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and recommend meningococcal B vaccinations for students who are at the highest risk. This vaccination program will be offered in cooperation with OSU Student Health Services, Benton County Health Department, the Oregon Health Authority and other health care partners. In accordance with CDC guidance, vaccination is recommended for all Oregon State undergraduate students under the age of 25. In particular, OSU students who are under the age of 25 and who live in on‐campus housing or who are members of – or who visit – fraternal living groups associated with the university are urged to act on this recommendation.
News of this matter is concerning for all of us in the OSU community. While this is a serious matter, it is not an emergency. The university and its health care partners will address this matter effectively with the health and wellness of the Oregon State community as our top priority.
The county health department is working with OSU officials, local medical providers and state public health officials to identify anyone who may have had enough close exposure to the ill student to require preventive antibiotic treatment. As of today, more than 40 individuals have received preventive treatment. Since the disease is not easily spread from one person to another, county health officials are confident that they have identified and treated all close contacts of the most recent case and that no one else requires preventive treatment at this time.
As part of its response, the university will offer vaccination clinics on Wednesday, March 8, and Thursday, March 9, in McAlexander Field House from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m.
In advance, please check with your insurance carrier regarding coverage for receiving a meningococcal B vaccination at OSU. Be sure your insurance provider understands that the Corvallis campus has been designated by public health officials to have an “outbreak” status. Students without insurance will be provided the vaccine via other resources, and further communications about this assistance will be provided over the next week.
Awareness is very important in effectively managing meningococcal disease. While meningococcal disease is very serious for those who become infected, it is not a highly contagious disease. It most often affects individuals who are 25 years old or younger. It is transmitted only through direct contact with droplets from an ill person coughing or sneezing; other discharges from the nose or throat; by sharing of eating and drinking utensils, smoking devices; or intimate contact.
Symptoms of the disease include high fever, headache and stiff neck, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Some people do not get the full range of symptoms, but may exhibit a rapidly developing rash on the armpits, groin and ankles, as well as in areas where elastic pressure is applied.
Students experiencing these symptoms should immediately visit OSU Student Health Services located in the Plageman Building, 108 S.W. Memorial Place. If symptoms are sudden and severe or occur after hours, immediately go to an urgent care or hospital emergency room. Non‐students experiencing symptoms should contact their primary care physician, an urgent care medical clinic or a nearby hospital emergency room.
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:
Interim Vice President
Finance and AdministrationSusie Brubaker‐Cole
Student AffairsSteve Clark
University Relations and Marketing