As kids are heading back to school in a few weeks, it’s important to make sure their vaccinations are up to date too. That also applies to college students.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, college students face a greater risk of contracting bacterial meningitis than the rest of the population.
Zelda Chacon, the director of the University Health Center at Texas A&M Corpus Christi explains why.
“It’s extremely important on our campus because students tend to congregate whether it be in dorms where they live in very close quarters or whether it be on campus,” Chacon said.
Meningitis is spread from person-to-person. It’s an uncommon disease affecting membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Chacon says if the disease isn’t treated, it can cause long-term serious health problems like brain damage or hearing loss. The disease can also be fatal.
In 2013, Texas mandated all students under the age of 22 be vaccinated before the start of school. That holds true for TAMUCC. The University recommends all students have their vaccination at least 10 days prior to the start of class.
But is the message getting across to students? Several students KRIS 6 spoke to, say yes.
“I feel very strongly about getting them and staying up-to-date,” said Lauren Untalan, a TAMUCC senior. “I know whenever you come to college, you have to get your meningitis vaccination because we’re so close to each other.”
“Everyone’s really close together, especially in the dorm rooms. So I think it’s a good precaution before we come to school,” said Ariana Cuellar, a TAMUCC junior.
Chacon also recommends students get their vaccination as early as possible.