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Meningitis Outbreak Prompts Vaccinations at Princeton University

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Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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PRINCETON, N.J. (KMOX) - Vaccinations have begun at Princeton University in an attempt to stop an outbreak of a potentially deadly disease.

There have been eight confirmed cases of Type B bacterial meningitis at Princeton in the past few weeks.

Federal officials are so concerned about the disease they’re allowing a vaccine which has only been approved for use in Europe to be used in the U.S.

Infectious diseases specialist Dr. William Schaffner says health officials are trying to stop the spread of the brain-swelling disease because it can strike quickly.

“If I had a child at Princeton, I would say ‘go to the front of the line, get this vaccine, it is safe and effective,'” Schaffner says.

Type B Bacterial Meningitis typically kills 10 to 15 percent of those who contract it. Survivors can be left with disabilities.

“The disease spreads on college campuses because it’s a semi-enclosed population,” Schaffner explains. “There’s very close interaction among the students and so it’s very easy for this bug to be spread from student to student.”

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