The numbers of reported cases of meningococcal disease in 15- to 24-year-olds and outbreaks of meningococcal serogroup C disease, including outbreaks in schools and other institutions, have increased during the past decade. In response to outbreaks on college campuses, the American College Health Association has taken an increasingly proactive role in alerting college students and their parents to the risk of this disease and informing them about the availability of an effective vaccine. Recent epidemiologic studies have demonstrated an increased risk of disease in college students living in dormitories, particularly among freshmen, compared with similarly aged persons in the general population. At least 60% of these cases are potentially preventable by vaccination with the quadrivalent meningococcal A, C, Y, and W-135 polysaccharide vaccine. These findings support immunization of college students, particularly freshmen living in dormitories. Hence, college students and their parents should be informed by health care professionals at routine prematriculation visits and during college matriculation of the risk of meningococcal disease and potential benefits of immunization. Vaccine should be made available to those requesting immunization. College and university health services also should facilitate implementation of educational programs concerning meningococcal disease and availability of immunization services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health