Nov. 19 - There have been seven cases of meningitis at Princeton University since this spring. The vaccine will be available to students starting in December. Linda So reports.
Students at Princeton University are dealing with a health scare. SOUNDBITE: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY STUDENT BRENAEA FAIRCHILD, SAYING: "It's a little frightening to know that meningitis is going around your campus." Since March, there have been 7 cases of meningitis at Princeton. It's prompting University officials to start offering the vaccine in December. The vaccine which protects against Meningitis B, a rare strain of the disease, has been approved in Europe but not in the U.S. The FDA recommends making an exception to try to stop the spread. SOUNDBITE: DR. NEIL FISHMAN WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA HOSPITAL, SAYING: "They would offer the vaccine to the student body, usually it takes about two weeks to develop an effective immune response." Meningitis is a bacterial disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It can progress very quickly and spreads through close contact. SOUNDBITE: DR. WILLIAM SCHAFFNER WITH VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY, SAYING: "The person can become semi comatose or even comatose and this can happen within a matter of hours. So it's a very serious infection." Six of the seven patients who contracted meningitis at the University have recovered. One male student remains in the hospital.