Meningococcal Disease & Vaccination Information
Student Health Services (SHS) is committed to doing everything possible to ensure that your son or daughter remains safe and healthy during his or her time enrolled at UL Lafayette. One of the more serious medical concerns facing a student entering college is the fact that the lifestyle changes often associated with being away from home for the first time, the stressors placed on college students, and the close environment of on-campus living all combine to increase the risk of contracting contagious illnesses.
SHS is committed to the prevention of meningococcal meningitis, which is a life threatening disease caused by a bacterium called N. meningitis. The state of Louisiana requires that all first-time college and university students be informed about meningococcal disease in order to register for courses.
A great reference for information on meningitis is the Vaccine Information Statement. It discusses:
- What is meningococcal disease?
- How is the disease spread?
- Why is it so dangerous?
- Who is at risk?
- Can meningococcal disease be prevented?
Because of this data, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the American College Health Association (ACHA) both recommend that students in this group be informed of these risks and of the potential benefit of vaccination.
All UL Lafayette students are required to receive or decline the meningococcal vaccine. In the event of an outbreak, if the student has declined this vaccination he or she may be prohibited from attending classes and university functions until he or she receives the vaccination or the danger has passed.
If your child has not received the vaccine prior to enrolling at UL Lafayette and wishes to do so, please contact us at (337) 482-5464 and ask to speak to a nurse about the availability of the vaccine locally. Although Student Health Services does not currently stock this vaccine, there are providers in the community that do. For best protection, however, we recommend that your child receive this vaccine prior to enrollment.
There is an increase susceptibility to this illness in:
- Adolescents and young adults
- Those who live in close proximity to others
Those who engage in behaviors that decrease the immune system's function, for example:
- active and passive smoking
- alcoholic consumption and bar patronage
- inadequate sleep and poor diet
Those who engage in behaviors that increase exposure to the bacteria through exchange of saliva, for example:
- shared cigarettes of any kind
- shared drinking glasses, water bottles, or eating utensils