Health Alert: Update on Meningitis on Rutgers–New Brunswick Campus

Dear Members of the Rutgers Community:

With two undergraduate students at Rutgers University–New Brunswick recently diagnosed with serogroup B meningococcal disease, the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has confirmed an outbreak of serogroup B meningococcal disease at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. Tests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the specimens from the two cases showed that the typing genes tested were identical between the two organisms. While we cannot predict whether there will be additional cases of meningococcal disease, with two cases occurring over a short time with genetically related organisms it suggests that there is an outbreak associated with Rutgers University–New Brunswick

Based on this determination and the consensus of the NJDOH, the Centers for Disease Control, and our internal expertise, the University is issuing a strong recommendation that members of the undergraduate student population on the New Brunswick Campus be fully vaccinated against serogroup B meningococcal disease. This announcement and additional information is available at the Rutgers Student Health website.

At this point, we are NOT recommending general vaccination for members of the Rutgers Community on other campuses. Below are a handful of very specific exceptions to this recommendation. If you fit within one these exceptions, we recommend that you contact your personal health care provider for advice on your particular risk factors:

  • Individuals who live in New Brunswick undergraduate residence halls
  • Individuals with medical conditions that put them at increased risk for meningococcal disease. These conditions include all functional and anatomic asplenia (including sickle cell disease), persistent complement component deficiencies (C3, C5-C9, properdin, factor H, factor D), and taking Soliris® (eculizumab)
  • Microbiologists who are routinely exposed to meningococcal bacteria

The University is actively planning and implementing a comprehensive response to this important public health issue.

We will provide you with more details as our efforts unfold.

Brian L. Strom, MD, MPH
Executive Vice President for Health Affairs