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Princeton University To Consider Use Of Vaccine Approved Overseas To Combat Meningitis

Bexsero Is Used In Europe And Australia, But Is Not Used In The United States

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PRINCETON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The health concerns on the Princeton University campus are growing.

Another student was diagnosed with meningitis this week, the seventh since March.

“I think a lot of people are concerned by the fact that it didn’t go away in the summer when everybody left,” student Kristie Schott told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider on Friday night.

Now the Food and Drug Administration is coming forward with a way for the school to combat the serious health scare.

It’s offering use of a vaccine called Bexsero.

The meningitis vaccine has been approved in Europe and Australia, but it is not used in the United States.

In fact, no vaccine is available to fight the type B meningococcal bacteria which caused the cases at Princeton, Schneider reported.

Students said they are relieved the Ivy League university is being proactive and considering using this newly available vaccine.

“I don’t think there’s ever been so many cases on a college campus, but I think it’s smart of them to consider precautions because there have been deaths at other colleges.  And we’re lucky we haven’t had a death yet here,” Schott said.

In the meantime, the university is telling students to:

* Wash hands

* Cover coughs

* Not share drinking glasses, eating utensils

Meningitis can be spread by kissing, coughing and length contact and symptoms include headache, fever, vomiting and rashes. Bacterial meningitis is fairly rare in the United States. It can cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord and can even lead to death within just a few days.

“They’ve been communicating a lot, they’ve been warning us. They’ve been really good telling us what to do to prevent it,” student Raj Patel said.

Princeton University officials are considering the use of this vaccine.

“This is a question we have been considering very carefully. We will be discussing it with our trustees this weekend, and when we have something to announce we will make an announcement,” said the school’s director of media relations, Martin A. Mbugua.

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