Meningococcal Infections at University of Oregon, March 2015– update

UofOMeningococcal disease typically infects a few people a year in Oregon with rare fatalities.  This is a bacterial infection that usually progresses rapidly with fever, malaise, body and muscle aches, and a rash that often becomes petechial or purpuric (broken blood vessels and non-blanching).  Since this infection can progress to severe blood infection (sepsis), brain infections (meningitis), and can result in respiratory failure and death in a 12-48 hour period of time, this is one infection you don’t wait until morning to get to the office, urgent care, or emergency room.

We have had a vaccine (Menveo or Menactra) that we typically give starting at age 11.  These vaccines cover  the main strains of meningococcus but not type B that is most prevalent in Oregon and is the type that has been at the University of Oregon (U of O).

The outbreak at U of O this year has resulted in 5 confirmed cases as of the time of this writing (March 16th. 2015) with one death.  All cases have been type B.  Thankfully, there are now two vaccines that cover type B meningococcus available.  U of O and the Oregon Health Department is recommending all U of O students, and any students living in the 13th & Olive apartments (Capstone buildings) get the meningococcal type B vaccine.  The pharmacies around U of O can give these vaccines and other pharmacies in the state can order them if given notice.

Our office now has the Trumenba (type B meningococcal) vaccine.  This is my preferred one of the two since it has less aluminum compared with the other one (Bexsero) that has more aluminum.

Trumenba is given on day 1, then 2 months later, and then 6 months after the first dose.  Bexero is given on day 1 then at least a month later.

If you have a child attending U of O, I highly recommend they get one of these vaccines as soon as possible.  If you have past aluminum/adjuvant concerns, then discuss this with your physician (me if I am your doctor).

You can read more about these two vaccines at the Oregon Health Authority Immunization Program found here…


Dr. Paul




One comment

  • S

    Dr. Paul,
    First, thank you so much for all that you do! I have a question about Trumenba. As it was just recently approved, I read the insert and learned that it has not been evaluated for effects on male fertility. Is this standard disclaimer information, or is this a concern? Should men receiving this vaccine at U of O be advised of this?
    I would appreciate your thoughts on this.
    Thank you!

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