Last week, a student at Smith College was diagnosed with invasive meningococcal disease (IMD). The student’s illness was caused by serogroup B. Last fall, two students at UMass Amherst were also diagnosed with invasive meningococcal disease serogroup B. It is possible that the recent case represents a continuation of the outbreak identified at UMass last fall. Results of strain typing are not yet available.
Serogroup B meningococcal vaccine (MenB) is now highly recommended for undergraduate students attending the following schools that are part of the Five College Consortium: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and UMass Amherst.
ACTIONS REQUESTED OF ALL CLINICIANS:
1. Be alert for cases compatible with meningococcal disease in students attending schools in the Five College Consortium and their close contacts. Prompt recognition and antibiotic treatment of meningococcal disease is critical. Many students will be leaving campus to begin spring break on or before March 10, 2018.
2. Immediately report all suspect cases of meningococcal disease to the MDPH at (617) 983-6800. Do not wait for laboratory confirmation to report a clinically suspected case.
3. Obtain blood and CSF cultures on all suspect cases prior to administration of antibiotics, if possible, to enhance detection of Neisseria meningitidis.
4. Ascertain and document potential close contacts of any suspected case.
5. Vaccinate the target groups of students with MenB vaccine, as described above.
6. Vaccinate other students and staff who wish to receive MenB vaccine.
Please see the attached advisory for additional information.
For questions and concerns about invasive meningococcal disease and these recommendations in Massachusetts please call the Division of Epidemiology and Immunization at 617-983-6800.