Meningitis Hits FAMU Campus
Florida A & M University is on high alert this week after one of its students died due to a viral form of meningitis. Senior Courtney Simms, a journalism student who anchored a campus news show, died Monday.
Students are not required to get a meningitis vaccination, but state universities have to warn incoming student about the dangers of the disease. A FAMU health official says people who were in close contact with Simms are not showing signs of sickness. Still, students are taking extra precautions.
Doctors are vaccinating children as young as 12, but immunity only lasts five years. So health experts want children who were vaccinated while they were young to get another shot once they enter college.
Rules adopted by the University Systems Board of Governors in 2008 require all incoming students to be vaccinated or sign a form opting out. FSU had the policy in place long before the BOG voted.
However, getting vaccinated does not guarantee immunity to meningitis, because there are so many strains of the disease. Right now there is no word on whether Simms was vaccinated.
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