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2014
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Meningococcal Meningitis

Vacination Policy and Procedure

Sierra College has adopted the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the American College Health Association (ACHA).

All incoming freshmen residing in the residence halls receive information about Meningococcal Meningitis and sign a form that indicates whether or not they received the vaccine or decline the vaccine which is signed and returned with the Residence Halls License Agreement.

Meningococcal Disease Information

What is meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is caused by the Neisseria meningitides bacteria. The two most common forms of meningococcal disease are meningitis, an infection of the fluid and covering of the spinal cord and brain; or septicemia, an infection of the bloodstream. Meningitis has other causes as well, the most common being viral infection.

How common is Meningococcal disease?

Meningococcal disease is uncommon. In the U.S. each year there about 2,500 cases (1-2 cases for every 10,000 people), with 300-400 occurring in California. Of 14 million students enrolled in colleges nation-wide, approximately 100 acquire meningococcal disease each year.

How is it diagnosed?

A diagnosis is commonly made by growing the bacteria from the spinal fluid or blood. Identifying the bacteria is important for the selection of the best treatment for the infection.

Is the vaccine recommended for college students?

The Centers for Disease Control and the American College Health Association both recommend routine vaccination for incoming freshmen residing in residence halls.

Are college students at increased risk?

Overall, undergraduate students have lower risk of acquiring meningococcal meningitis than the non-student population. College students who live in residence halls have a slightly increased risk of infection. Reasons for this increase are not fully understood, but probably relate to living in close proximity with others.

How can I prevent meningococcal disease?

You can protect yourself by maintaining good health and hygiene. As a general recommendation, you should wash your hands frequently. Avoid sharing items such as eating utensils, bottles, cigarettes, or lip balm. Contact a health care provider immediately if you are in close contact with someone who is known or suspected to have meningococcal infection.

How are meningococcal bacteria spread?

The bacteria are transmitted from person to person in secretions from the nose and throat. They are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air near an infected person. The bacteria can live outside the body for only a few minutes; so if the germs contaminate a desk or book, they soon die and cannot infect anyone.

Tuberculosis Clearance

International Student Requirement

To be a student at Sierra College you must provide evidence of freedom from tuberulosis. If you are unable to receive the skin test at home, we will offer it at Sierra College. However, to make your transition easier it is best you do the screening while in your home country. All documentation must be translated into English, be within three months of the beginning of the semester for which you are applying, and must be completed in one of the following ways:

  • Mantoux skin test, 5 T.U. (Tuberculin Units) with measurement in millimeters
    • 0-4mm is negative
    • 5-9mm is questionnable. Repeat test no sooner than six days from initial test
    • 10mm and above is positive. Chest x-ray needed
  • Negative chest x-ray for those who react to the Mantoux test with 10mm or more or who have reacted to the Mantoux skin test in the past.

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