Updated June 1, 2016
Meningococcal disease is not spread by casual contact, such as being in a classroom with or sharing a bus with an infected person. Meningococcal bacteria are spread from person-to-person through the exchange of saliva (spit), coughs, and sneezes. You must be in direct (close) or lengthy contact with an infected person’s secretions to be exposed (e.g., kissing, sharing eating utensils, sharing water bottles, sharing smoking materials such as cigarettes and vaping materials).
The New Jersey Department of Health and Rutgers University strongly recommend, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a vaccine to help protect against serogroup B meningococcal disease be given only to all Rutgers University–New Brunswick undergraduate students, as well as a few other very specific populations outlined below.
In addition to all Rutgers University–New Brunswick undergraduate students, the following populations are recommended for vaccination:
- Members of the Rutgers University–New Brunswick community with medical conditions that put them at increased risk for meningococcal disease. These conditions include functional and anatomic asplenia (including sickle cell disease), persistent complement component deficiencies (C3, C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D), and taking Soliris® for treatment of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS) or paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH).
- Microbiologists who are routinely exposed to the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease, Neisseria meningitidis.
Faculty, Staff, and Graduate students who have any of the medical conditions listed above should consult with their personal physician to discuss vaccination. Any Rutgers University–New Brunswick employee that works with meningitis bacteria in a Rutgers lab should contact Occupational Health at 848-932-8254 to determine if they need vaccination.
All other Rutgers University–New Brunswick graduate students, faculty, staff, and visitors are not considered at increased risk for meningococcal disease and therefore not recommended for vaccination with a serogroup B meningococcal vaccine due to the occurrence of cases at the Rutgers University–New Brunswick campus.