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Meningitis Information

To the student (or parent/guardian of student under age 18):

New York State Public Health Law requires institutions including colleges and universities to distribute information about meningococcal disease and vaccination to all students meeting certain enrollment criteria, whether they live on or off campus. Meningococcal disease is a potentially fatal bacterial infection commonly referred to as meningitis.

Meningitis is rare. However, when it strikes, its flu-like symptoms make diagnosis difficult. If not treated early, meningitis can lead to swelling of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal column as well as severe and permanent disabilities such as hearing loss, brain damage, seizures, limb amputation, and even death.

Cases of meningitis among teens and young adults 15 to 24 years of age (the age of most college students) have more than doubled since 1991. The disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year and claims about 300 lives. Between 100 and 125 meningitis cases occur annually on college campuses, causing as many as 15 student deaths.

A vaccine is available to protect against four types of the bacteria that cause meningitis in the United States — types A, C, Y, and W-135. These four types account for nearly two-thirds of meningitis cases among college students.

You can receive this vaccine from your own health care provider. While the Health Office at Cayuga Community College will not offer the meningitis vaccine, the vaccine is available at the office of Cassandra A. Archer, M.D., by appointment only. Dr. Archer's office phone is 315-255-0947.

I encourage you (and your child, if under 18) to carefully review the State Health Department information on meningococcal meningitis.

 

Required by New York State Law

Cayuga Community College is required to maintain a record of the following for each student:

  • A response to receipt of meningococcal disease and vaccine information signed by the student or the student’s parent or guardian. This must include information on the availability and cost of meningococcal meningitis vaccine (Menomune TM, Menactra TM); and either
  • A record of meningococcal meningitis immunization within the past 10 years; or
  • An acknowledgment of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization signed by the student or the student’s parent or guardian.

To comply with New York State Law, please download and complete the Meningococcal Meningitis Response Form and return it to the Health Office at Cayuga Community College. You may also fulfill the requirement online by answering the meningitis survey in myCayuga. Please submit as soon as possible.

Note: per NYS Public Health law, no institution should permit any student to attend the institution in excess of 30 days without complying with this law. The 30-day period may be extended to 60 days if a student can show a good-faith effort to comply.

To learn more about meningitis and the vaccine, please feel free to contact the College Health Services office at 315-255-1743 or 592-4143, and/or consult your (or your child’s) physician. You can also find information about the disease at the following websites: