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A 40-year-old member asked:

Why are college freshmen living in dormitories at increased risk for meningococcal disease?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Close living quarter: It is strongly recommended that all college students living in dorms or frat houses (not just freshman) to get the Meningococcal vaccine due to it being highly contagious, relatively high mortality (death) rate, high morbidity (complication, amputation, etc.) rate, and ease of prevention (by getting vaccinated.) initial symptoms often mimic a common cold or flu so diagnosis can be delayed.
Dr. Troy Ross
Occupational Medicine 24 years experience
Stressors: College life has many stressors. The students are away from home in a strange environment. They are sleep deprived and most likely not eating well. All of that leads to immune system suppression. Then you pack all of those people into tight quarters and it is the perfect set up for disease transmission. So... what to do? Change the factors you can - eat healthy food, sleep well, manage your stress
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Proximity: Dorms, classes, cafeterias or military barracks, some infections are more likely to pass among populations in close proximity. The higher risk populations share similar settings . Meningococcal disease is also carried by some in their nasal passages without ever getting ill. Proximity, carriers and time duration of contact all add to the process.

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Last updated Dec 31, 2018

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