UPDATE: November 2, 2016
Important Information on Meningitis
- Three UW-Madison students are recovering from meningococcal disease.
- One of the cases has had contact with Edgewood College students. Public health officials do not believe that increases the risk to our students at this time. However, since many of our students either live with or interact socially with UW students, we need to be cautious.
- Meningitis is rare, often comes on suddenly, and can progress and become deadly within hours.
- Most students are protected against serogroups ACYW, but few are vaccinated against serogroup B.
Your Next Steps
- Health Services recommends that undergraduate students at Edgewood College consider getting vaccinated against meningococcal disease serogroup B, especially those living in the residence halls. Freshmen living in residence halls are at the highest risk of contracting the disease compared to other groups.
- The vaccine is typically covered by insurance.
- The vaccine is a series of two to three doses that protects against meningitis serogroup B.
- Do not share drinking cups or eating utensils
Know the symptoms
- sudden onset of fever
- stiff neck
- increased sensitivity to light
How do I get Immunized?
Health insurance plans DO typically cover the cost of the necessary vaccine, and Health Services has both Bexsero and Trumemba on hand.
- WPS student health insurance plan members: Your vaccine is 100% covered at Health Services, 2nd floor Predolin.
- Get the vaccine at Health Services. The cost ($170) will be charged to your student account and you will be provided with a receipt to submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement. We suggest calling your health insurance provider to verify coverage first. You will need to provide them with the following codes: Diagnosis Z23, ICD10 90620, NPI 1487853933.
- Get the vaccine at your primary doctor's office.
- Get the vaccine at Walgreens on East Campus Drive. Their number is 251-0042. If you provide them with your insurance plan info, they are able to verify coverage over the phone if you call before you go. They have plenty of vaccine in stock and most insurance plans have been covering it. We have been told by Group Health (GHC) that their members must see a GHC provider to determine necessity of coverage.
Uninsured students may be eligible for free vaccination through Dane County Public Health. Their number is 266-4821.
- If you are age 18 or younger
- If you are age 19 or older, and you have a serious health condition
Students that share a residence with a UW-Madison student may get vaccinated for free through Dane County Public Health. Call 266-4821 to schedule.
What is meningitis?
Meninigitis—inflammation of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord—can be caused by both bacteria and viruses. A serious form is caused by the meningococcal bacteria. Meningococcal bacteria are spread through close contact with an infected person’s oral or nasal secretions, such as kissing, sharing cups, or sharing tobacco products. It’s very rare, often comes on suddenly, and can progress rapidly. Meningococcal disease is typically treated with antibiotics.
I already got meningitis shots from my doctor at home as a teenager. Do I still need to get a meningitis B vaccination?
Most likely. Most students are immunized against serogroup ACYW but not against serogroup B. Serogroup B vaccine has only recently become available and is not routinely recommended, although most outbreaks in recent years have been of the serogroup B type.
I am not a student, should I get the vaccine?
Health Services recommends that all undergraduate students consider being vaccinated against meningococcal disease serogroup B. Persons with conditions that compromise their immunity, especially persons who have complement component deficiencies are encouraged to get the vaccine.
If you are an adult employee of the College over the age of 26, you are not considered in a high risk group and do not need the vaccine. Employees under the age of 26 can talk with a provider about the nature of their contact with students to decide if the vaccine is need.
If I already got one dose at home of the meningitis B vaccine (either Bexsero or Trumenba), can I get the remaining dose(s) at Health Services?
Yes, we offer both vaccines to complete your vaccine series. The two vaccine products cannot be interchanged. It is important that we receive your prior records so that we can verify the proper vaccine and dosage timing. Please bring in your immunization records when you come for the shot. The Wisconsin Immunization Registry contains records for children and adults who were vaccinated in the state of Wisconsin.
How do I handle the second dose if I got my first dose from my provider at home?
It’s a good idea to get documentation of any immunizations you have been given for your personal health records.
Where can I get additional information?
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us at 608.663.8334
For more information about meningitis, check out the CDC meningitis fact sheet.