Due to the third case of an OSU Corvallis student being diagnosed with meningococcal B disease in the past four months, the university is recommending that students at the highest risk receive meningococcal B vaccinations.
Following the protocols of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the university is recommending meningococcal B vaccinations for all Oregon State undergraduate students who are age 25 or younger. In particular, OSU students who are age 25 or younger 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.
Faculty and staff members are not considered to be within this risk group. Faculty and staff who are concerned about exposure to meningitis, or are interested in being vaccinated for meningococcal B disease, are encouraged to contact their primary care physician.
Vaccination clinics for students will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, and Thursday, March 9, in McAlexander Field House. If students cannot participate in the clinics on March 8 and 9, they can also receive a vaccination at Student Health Services.
Before visiting 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 your 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.
Student Health Services (SHS) will be billing students’ insurance plans. Vaccinations for students who are on the Oregon Health Plan will be fully covered, as will vaccines for domestic and international students on OSU’s two sponsored plans (Aetna Student Health or Pacific Source).
Many private insurance plans will cover the cost of vaccines, including Kaiser and Providence. SHS is working to ensure as many plans as possible cover the cost of Meningococcal B vaccine at OSU. Again, it is important for students to contact their own insurance provider to verify coverage. SHS will assist international students and any others who have plans that do not cover the cost of vaccine if provided at OSU to receive the vaccine at an alternate location.
Students without insurance can receive the vaccination through benefits provided by the Oregon Health Plan or via other university resources. It is important that students not be discouraged from getting the vaccine due to their insurance status.
If you have questions about the OSU insurance plans, please contact OSU Student Health Services by calling 541-737-4184. SHS staff will be at the clinic to assist with insurance questions as well. Please be sure to bring your insurance information with you to the clinic.
IT IS ESSENTIAL TO RECEIVE ALL REQUIRED VACCINE DOSES
There are two commonly used brands of vaccine and both require multiple doses to be effective in preventing meningococcal B disease. It is very important that you receive the same brand for all doses:
- Bexsero, which will be used at the OSU clinics and is the vaccine used at SHS, requires two doses with the second dose given at least one month following the first dose. The total cost of receiving two doses of the Bexsero vaccination for students through OSU Student Health Services is $364. Insurance will be billed for this expense.
- Trumenba is another available brand and involves three doses. The second dose is provided one to two months after the initial dose. The third dose is provided six months after the initial dose. SHS carries this vaccine for students who started this series at another medical facility. The total cost for Trumenba through OSU Student Health Services is $405. Insurance will be billed for this expense.
WELLNESS & PREVENTION ARE OSU’s TOP PRIORITY
We understand that news of another student being diagnosed with meningococcal disease is very concerning.
Meningococcal disease is NOT highly contagious. Nevertheless, it is important to know about symptoms of meningitis and how the disease is contracted. The disease is transmitted only through direct contact with droplets from an ill person coughing or sneezing; discharges from the nose or throat; by sharing of eating and drinking utensils, smoking devices; and through intimate contact.
Symptoms of meningococcal disease include high fever, a stiff neck, a rash, headaches, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If you or someone you know exhibits these symptoms, you should immediately visit Student Health Services in Plageman Hall on campus at 108 S.W. Memorial Place or call 541-737-9355. Student Health Services is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For after-hour resources, immediately go to a nearby urgent care medical clinic or hospital emergency room.
Additional 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 Administration
University Relations and Marketing
To the Oregon State community,
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 age 25 and under. In particular, OSU students who are age 25 and under 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 Administration
University Relations And Marketing