Can You Tell Me More About the Outbreaks of Meningitis on College Campuses? (VIDEO HAS BEEN UPDATED)

>> Hi, my name is Paul Offit. I'm talking
to you today from the Vaccine Education Center here at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
I think one of the most harrowing experiences, actually, that a parent can have is when they
send their child to college, that they find out that there's been an outbreak of a particular
infectious disease at that college. Probably the most common cause is a bacteria
called meningococcus. This is the bacteria actually that about 10 to 12% of the population
carries on the back of their throat, harmlessly. But what happens when children go to college
is they're coming into a very, generally small area, through the dorm where they're much
more close to each other. They're sharing foods, they're sharing drinks. And also they
have different types of meningococcus that could be carried on the back of their throat. So what happens, and this happens also for
army recruits that enter barracks and then are sort of sharing their bacteria in a sense,
is that outbreaks can occur.

And the thing about meningococcus is that you can be fine
one minute and then, frankly, overwhelmed by that bacteria and dead four or five hours
later. You know, the Center for Disease Control and
Prevention, or CDC, says that one way they can monitor just outbreaks of meningococcus
is simply to read the newspaper. Because this particular bacterial infection is so dramatic,
and so overwhelming, that it can take the life of an otherwise perfectly healthy young
adult in just a matter of hours. So that's why it is that we ask children,
before they enter college, when they're 17, 18, 19 years of age, to make sure that they
get the so-called conjugate meningococcal vaccine, which has trade names like Menactra®,
or Menveo®.

So that they can best be protected before the go to college. There are two new vaccines that have recently
come out that have the names Trumenba® and Bexsero® that have a different serotype,
or serogroup actually, of meningococcus that's called serogroup B, or type B. And that, I
think, will only further increase the degree to which parents have the opportunity to protect
their children before they enter these high-risk situations, frankly, or at least higher risk situations,
where you can get meningococcus by entering a college campus.

Thank you for your attention..

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