Meningitis B

What is Meningitis B?

Meningococcal Meningitis Type B is a bacterial infection from Neisseria meningitidis that affects the lining of the brain and spinal cord. This bacteria can also cause an infection of the bloodstream. Although this is a rare infection, it can be very serious and result in long term complications or death even when diagnosed and treated promptly.

The best way to prevent meningococcal disease is to be vaccinated.

How does it spread?

This type of bacterial meningitis is not easily transmittable from person to person. It is spread through saliva and requires close contact (coughing, kissing, or sharing utensils) or prolonged contact over a period of time (household members).  Simply being on the same college campus or being in the same classroom as an infected individual does not increase the chances of becoming infected.


What are the symptoms?


  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Stiff neck
  • Photophobia (Sensitivity to Light)
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Confusion

Bloodstream infection:

  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Severe muscle ache and joint pain
  • Rapid breathing
  • A dark purple rash


Any case of Meningitis must be treated as a medical emergency.

If you or someone you know is showing symptoms, call our advice nurse right away at 486-4700, option 1.

Who should be vaccinated?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends young adults ages 16-23 years of age and people 2 months and older who are at increased risk of meningococcal disease due to an underlying medical condition.



I live in a dorm on campus and a meningitis vaccine was required. Am I protected?

No. The meningitis vaccine required for living in university housing protects against four strains of the Neisseria meningitidis bacteria; A, C, W, and Y. Meningitis B vaccination is highly recommended for incoming students but it is not required.



Can I get vaccinated at Student Health Services?

Yes. We offer both types of Meningitis B vaccine that are available. The vaccine is a series of either two or three shots. We can start your vaccination process or continue a series that was started at home.



How much does the vaccine cost?

The Meningitis B vaccine costs about $150.00 per injection and is covered by most insurances. There is no copay for immunization appointments.

Our goal at Student Health Services is to keep you healthy. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Student Health Services Advice Nurse (486-4700: option 1).

Call us. We can help.


To learn more about Meningitis, visit the links below.
Q&A from about Meningitis:
CDC website about Bacterial Meningitis: