23 May 2013
The New Jersey state health department has officially declared a meningitis outbreak at Princeton University after the fourth case of the disease since March was linked to the school.
The series of infections was given outbreak status because the previous three identified cases occurred over a short period of time and the people were diagnosed with an identical strain of meningitis, the Department of Health said in a news release Tuesday. The fourth case was announced Monday.
The department made the declaration out of an “abundance of caution” and after consulting with local health and university officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the release said.
“We hope that by considering this an outbreak, we will increase awareness and prompt early case recognition among members of the Princeton community and healthcare providers,” the release said.
The three earlier cases of meningitis were caused by meningococcal bacteria known as type B, which has no effective vaccine but can be treated with common antibiotics, the release said. The three the cases are not believe to be linked.
Read the full report from New Jersey.