Corvallis Meningococcal Case Not Linked To OSU Cases

The Benton County Health Department says a middle school aged student who got meningococcal disease had a different strain than students at OSU.

Laboratory test results show the Corvallis middle school student was infected with serogroup C meningococcal disease. The youth has been discharged from the hospital.

The timing of this case is coincidental with, but unrelated to the 15-month outbreak at Oregon State University in Corvallis where six students were infected with the B strain.

"The disease is rare, but there are sporadic meningococcal disease infections regularly within the state," said Bruce Thomson, Benton County Health Officer. "The confirmation this case is the C strain indicates the meningococcal B disease outbreak among undergraduates attending at the OSU campus in Corvallis is not linked to this case in the community."

"There are actions you can take to protect your child," said Charlie Fautin, Deputy Director of the Benton County Health Department. "This strain is preventable with the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine which is effective against serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y.  The vaccine is recommended for all persons 11-18 years of age."

"If you seeing fever, rash, headache or stiff neck-get your child to your health care provider's office, urgent care medical clinic or emergency room immediately."

Symptoms of meningococcal disease include sudden onset of high fever, headache, exhaustion, nausea, rash, stiff neck, vomiting and diarrhea. Anyone displaying these symptoms should seek medical care right away, as the disease can progress rapidly.

Public health officials strongly encourage the quadrivalent meningococcal vaccination for all adolescents and young adults. This vaccine is required by many colleges and universities including Oregon State University and the University of Oregon.

In 2014 a case of meningococcal disease infected a Corvallis High School student. Testing results showed that illness was the W-135 strain, also covered by the quadrivalent vaccine.

More information on meningococcal disease is available by calling the Benton County Health Department communicable disease nurses at 541-766-6835 or by visiting http://healthoregon.org/mening

Source: Benton County Health Department

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