Bacterial Meningitis Information
Students who re-apply for admission to the institution may be required to resubmit proof of vaccination against Bacterial Meningitis.
- Students 22 years of age or older
- Students taking online courses only
- Dual credit students - unless the course is taught on the Galveston College campus
- Students who have a signed affidavit from the physician stating the vaccination is injurious to the health of the student
- Students with a signed affidavit declining the vaccination for reasons of conscience
Acceptable proof of vaccination against meningitis must include the following:
- Name of facility administering vaccination
- Name and signature of doctor/medical personnel administering vaccination
- Name of vaccine administered to student
- Date of vaccine administration
The Department of State Health Services (DSHS) requires students to have a quadrivalent meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4 or MenACWY) to satisfy this requirement. Common names for this vaccine are Menactra, Menveo, and Menquadfi.
Note: The new Meningococcal Group B (MenB) vaccines (Trumenba and Bexsero) only protect against one strain of Bacterial Meningitis and do not meet the minimum DSHS requirements for vaccination for attending college in Texas.
Students with questions concerning Bacterial Meningitis should contact the Admissions and Records Office at 409-944-1230.
Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely fast – so take utmost caution. It is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that causes meningitis can also infect the blood. This disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year, including 100-125 on college campuses, leading to 5-15 deaths among college students every year. There is a treatment, but those who survive may develop severe health problems or disabilities.
- High fever
- Rash or purple patches on skin
- Light sensitivity
- Confusion and sleepiness
- Severe headache
- Stiff neck
There may be a rash of tiny, red-purple spots caused by bleeding under the skin. These can occur anywhere on the body. The more symptoms, the higher the risk – so, when these symptoms appear, seek immediate medical attention.
Diagnosis is made by a medical provider and is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood tests.
Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.
The disease is transmitted when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, or by sharing drinking containers, utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, etc.) or come in contact with respiratory or throat secretions.
- Exposure to saliva by sharing cigarettes, water bottles, eating utensils, food, kissing, etc.
- Living in close conditions (such as sharing a room/suite in a dorm or group home).
- Death (in 8 to 24 hours – from perfectly well to dead)
- Permanent brain damage
- Kidney failure
- Learning disability
- Hearing loss, blindness
- Limb damage (fingers, toes, arms, lets) that requires amputation
Antibiotic treatment, if received early, can save lives and chances of recovery are increased. However, permanent disability or death can still occur. Vaccinations are available and should be considered for those living in close quarters and college students 22 years old or younger.
Vaccinations are effective against 4 of the 5 most common bacteria types that cause 70% of the disease in the United States. Vaccinations do not protect against all types of meningitis. Note – vaccinations take 7-10 days to become effective, with protection lasting 3-5 years.
The cost of the vaccine varies, so check with your health care provider. Vaccination is very safe – the most common side effects are redness and minor pain at the injection site for up to two days. Vaccinations are available at your doctor’s office, local clinics, and most pharmacies.
- Contact your own health care provider
- Visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov
- Visit the American College Health Association website at www.acha.org
- Contact the Texas Department of Health at 888-963-7111 or visit www.dshs.state.tx.us