What is Meningitis?
Meningitis is a very serious contagious illness that can cause disability or death very quickly. The National Meningitis Association states that 11% of those who become sick with meningitis will die, and 20% of survivors will experience permanent complications such as brain damage, hearing loss, or loss of limbs (amputation).
Meningitis is spread through tiny droplets in the air which other people can breathe in and catch the illness. It is also spread through direct contact, such as kissing or sharing drinks. Getting a vaccine against meningitis is the only way to possibly prevent the disease. Good hygiene is also important - make certain to cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough, and wash your hands frequently. Early symptoms can look like the flu, with a sudden fever, bad headache, and especially a stiff, painful neck. Without treatment by a doctor, meningitis can progress to death within hours or days. If you begin to experience these symptoms, go to a doctor as soon as possible!
Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely fast.
Beginning in January 2012, all first-time college students and returning students who did not attend TSTC in the fall 2011 semester must be immunized against bacterial meningitis.
All incoming new, transfer and returning students who did not attend in the fall 2011 semester will be required to show proof of immunization against bacterial meningitis. The law does not apply to students age 22 and over or to students who are enrolled only in online classes. Students enrolled in online classes but who come to campus for any kind of labs, etc., are required to get immunized.
In addition, TSTC must have proof of immunization within the last five years before students will be permitted to register for Spring 2012 courses; acceptable forms of proof are a signed record from a doctor, nurse, school official or state agency showing the date of the vaccination or booster.
Current TSTC students are NOT required to have the immunization. However, if you stop attending college and then return at a later semester, you will be required to have the vaccination before returning. For more information about the bacterial meningitis immunization, please call (254) 867-2360.