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Vaccinations for meningococcal meningitis will be available to Old Dominion University students from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, in the North Cafeteria at Webb University Center.

Spurred by alarming estimates of a greater than three-fold increase in risk for the disease among on-campus undergraduates over the past five years, a federal advisory panel has recommended that college freshmen living in dorms have access to vaccines, according to USA Today.

Meningitis, which is caused by both viruses and bacteria, is an inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. The bacterial form can cause meningococcal disease, which strikes about 3,000 people nationwide annually and kills up to 15 percent of its victims.

Each year, 150 to 200 college students contract the disease, which is spread by close contact with others who are infected. About 65 percent of those cases would be prevented by vaccination, the American College Health Association said in the USA Today article.

The meningitis vaccine carries fewer risks than a flu inoculation, according to the ACHA.

The cost for the vaccine is $75. Payment may be made by billing the students' home address or credit card or by check or cash. For more information call (877) 482-2237 or visit the Web site of Vaccess Health - the firm providing the shots -- at www.vaccess.com.

The vaccinations are sponsored by Old Dominion University's Student Health Center.

This article was posted on: March 7, 2000

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.