University of Southern Indiana

Meningitis Immunization Information

Dear USI Students and Family Members: 

The Dean of Students Office and the University Health Center at the University of Southern Indiana are committed to maintaining a healthy environment for students.  Therefore, we want to inform you about a communicable, life-threatening disease and the services available at USI for its prevention.

Meningococcal disease is a potentially-fatal bacterial infection commonly referred to as meningitis.  In October 1999, the CDC voted to recommend that college students, particularly those living in University/College residence halls, be educated about meningitis and the benefits of vaccination.  The panel based its recommendation on recent studies showing that college students, particularly students living in University/College housing, have a six-fold increased risk for meningitis. The recommendation further states that information about the disease and vaccination is appropriate for other undergraduate students who also wish to reduce their risk for the disease.

Meningitis is rare.  However, when it strikes, its flu-like symptoms make diagnosis difficult.  If not treated early, meningitis can lead to an increase of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal column, as well as severe and permanent disabilities, such as hearing loss, brain damage, seizures, limb amputation, and even death.  Cases of meningitis among teens and young adults 15 to 24 years of age have more than doubled since 1991.  The disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year and claims about 300 lives.  Between 100 and 125 meningitis cases occur on college campuses, and as many as 15 students die from the disease.

For the convenience of our students, the meningitis vaccine is available to current and incoming students at the University Health Center at a significantly-reduced rate.  The meningitis vaccine is a single-dose injection that protects against four types of the bacteria that cause meningitis. We encourage you and your student to learn more about this disease and the vaccine.  For more information, please feel free to contact the University Health Center at 812-465-1250 and/or consult your physician.  You can also find more information about Meningitis and other diseases by following the resources link on the USI Health Center webpage. Information is also available on the CDC Diseases Information webpage and the American College Health Association website. 

Per University policy and Indiana Code 21-40-5 enacted by the 2007 General Assembly, in order to complete your immunization records you must review the acknowledgement of this information, sign it, and return it with the Student Immunization Form. Visit the Immunization Policy page for more information. 



Dr. S. Bryan Rush                        Brandy Sitzman

Dean of Students                         Practice Manager

                                                  University Health Center



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