Health Advisory – Serogroup B Meningococcal Disease (“Meningitis B”)
Updated February, 2020
Rutgers University–New Brunswick is no longer considered to be in an outbreak setting for meningitis B
We would like to thank our students for taking the health warnings seriously and taking the time to receive the vaccination series. Please continue the practice of good hygiene to help reduce the spread of disease.
If you have started the vaccine series, you should continue to receive all the recommended doses.
Please see below for the full announcement and recommendations moving forward.
As of February 2020, no new cases associated with this outbreak have been identified. Therefore, Rutgers University – New Brunswick is no longer considered to be experiencing an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease. The risk of serogroup B meningococcal disease at Rutgers University – New Brunswick is now considered the same as at any other university. Students should be vaccinated against meningococcal disease in accordance with the current recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices available at https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/index.html.
In 2019, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), Middlesex County Office of Health Services, and Rutgers Student Health worked closely together to investigate an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease associated with Rutgers University – New Brunswick. A total of two cases of serogroup B meningococcal disease were identified in Rutgers University – New Brunswick students. Both individuals became ill in February and subsequently recovered. No common link was identified between the two students.
The CDC performed special tests on the specimens from the two cases; the tests showed that the typing genes tested were identical between the two organisms. Two cases occurring over a short time with genetically related organisms suggested that there was an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease associated with Rutgers University – New Brunswick. The organisms identified in these two cases were not closely related to the organisms involved in the 2016 outbreak of meningococcal disease associated with Rutgers University – New Brunswick.
The NJDOH’s priority is to protect the health of children, adolescents, and adults, and to reduce the occurrence of vaccine-preventable diseases. Therefore, the NJDOH continues to stress basic infection prevention activities such as covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, cleaning your hands, and ensuring you are up to date with vaccinations. Individuals who are ill should not attend school or work to prevent the spread of disease to others.