Rutgers University Meningococcal Disease Outbreak, 2016
Two cases of meningococcal disease have been associated with Rutgers University. Both cases were caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroup (type) B (MenB) and occurred in March and April 2016. Special testing that was performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the bacteria from the two cases are genetically identical (a match) which suggests that the strain is present on the campus.
Although there have been only two cases, public health officials are concerned that this may represent an outbreak since both cases occurred over a relatively short period of time. We cannot predict whether there will be additional cases of MenB associated with Rutgers University - New Brunswick.
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), local health officials, Rutgers Student Health, and the CDC are working together to develop public health recommendations, including vaccination, to protect the Rutgers University community.
At this time, there are no recommendations to cancel any activities or scheduled events on the Rutgers University Campus. There are also no recommendations for the surrounding community to avoid contact with Rutgers or Rutgers students.
The NJDOH continues to stress basic infection prevention activities such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, cleaning your hands, and practicing healthy habits. Individuals should remain vigilant (have increased awareness) for signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease. Individuals who are ill should not attend school or work to prevent the spread of disease to others.
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