Vaccination clinic planned at PC after meningitis cases

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Health is launching a vaccination clinic at Providence College after a second probable case of Meningitis on campus.

Health officials are recommending the college’s approximately 3,800 undergraduates, graduate students living on campus, and staff who are under 25 years old, or have a suppressed immune system be vaccinated.

“The spread of meningococcal disease can be stopped by good public health practices,” said Dr. Michael Fine, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. “The first step of the response is well underway to provide all close contacts of these students with preventive antibiotics. The action we’re taking today is an important next step to keep the PC community healthy.”

One student has a confirmed case of meningitis B. Typically, people are vaccinated against other strains of meningitis when they are adolescents. However, meningitis B is not included in the routine vaccine.

“Meningitis does not spread easily from casual contact,” Dr. Utpala Bandy explained. “There is no recommendation for the surrounding community to avoid contact with Providence College or Providence College students, no recommendation to cancel classes, and no recommendation to provide the vaccination more widely at this time.”

The bacterial infection is spread through direct secretions from the nose or mouth though activities like kissing, or sharing food and drinks.

Providence College spokesman Steven Maurano said that the vaccine was expected to arrive on-campus Saturday, and that the clinics would begin on Sunday.

PC students with questions should call the College Health Center at 401-865-2422.

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