Second student confirmed to have serogroup B infection

Nicole DeFeudis, Co-Editor in Chief

AMHERST — In an email to students on Wednesday, University Health Services confirmed that the second case of meningococcal disease on campus is a serogroup B infection.

“This is a confirmation that UHS had anticipated,” the email stated.

On Oct. 24, the first University of Massachusetts student was diagnosed with a serogroup B infection. The second student, who lives in a residence hall on campus, was diagnosed this weekend, according to UHS. Both students are currently in stable condition.

“Because these two students were not in close contact with each other, these two cases raise our level of concern,” UHS said in an email to students on Tuesday.

The vaccine for the serogroup B strain is not one of the required meningococcal vaccinations that students must receive before coming to UMass. Thus, many students are left unprotected.

In the Wednesday email, UHS advised students to get the serogroup B vaccination which is available at UHS by appointment, at some local pharmacies or by students’ local healthcare providers. At UHS, the cost for vaccination is billed to students’ insurance providers.

UHS vaccinated 100 students on Wednesday, according to UMass spokesperson Mary Detloff. “UHS reports that sufficient supply of serogroup B vaccines are readily available to meet ongoing demand. Call volume in the UHS call center remains steady,” she said in an email.

UHS continues to encourage students to get the vaccine from their local healthcare providers over Thanksgiving break.

“As with all vaccines, protection is not immediate and should be thought of as a wise precaution for several years to come,” stated UHS in the email.

The serogroup B vaccine is a series of two shots. The second vaccine should be administered 30 days after the first.

To schedule a vaccination appointment at UHS, call 413-577-5101 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Email Nicole at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @Nicole_DeFeudis.


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