Nov 042010
 
Authors: By Anne Hudgens and Adrianne LeBailly

Dear CSU students and employees, we know you’ve heard a lot about meningococcal disease over the last few weeks. We’re asking you to take a moment to read just one more thing about it by
continuing to read this letter.

This week, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment recommended all CSU students and employees who are 29 years old and younger be vaccinated for meningococcal disease. Health officials also want this age group at CSU to get a fresh vaccine if they were vaccinated more than three years ago. The vaccine decreases significantly in effectiveness
after a few years.

Why such a strong recommendation from health officials? Over the past year, there have been seven cases of meningococcal disease in the area, including six in Larimer County, from a strain of meningococcal disease. Of those seven cases, there have been five tragic deaths, including the recent death of a CSU student and a death in Denver. One CSU student was hospitalized for an extended period of time due to the illness.

To help students and employees meet this recommendation, there is a free vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at the Student Recreation Center. You can get a vaccine or booster shot at the clinic for free –– they usually cost about $125 to the general public.
Public health officials believe this vaccination clinic is an important strategy to reduce the risk of future cases.

We are working to make the clinic as fast and easy as possible. We encourage anyone in the university community 29 and younger to register for a vaccination time online at www.safety.colostate.edu. If you register, you’ll spend about 15 minutes or less from the time you enter the clinic until you get your shot. You can walk in to the clinic and sign up for a vaccination, but you may wait longer or have to return for a later appointment.

Your roommates or family members living with CSU employees or students within the target ages of 2 to 29 years old also can get vaccinated at the clinic. Anyone who does not fit into that age category is encouraged to speak to their physician or pharmacist if they want more information about the vaccine.

CO HELP, a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment toll-free number, can verify vaccination records on file with the state, which includes all current student records and answer anyone’s questions about meningococcal disease and the vaccine.

You can call CO HELP toll-free at 1-877-462-2911 from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., through Friday. If you do not know if you have been vaccinated or when you were last vaccinated, call CO HELP for advice. The vaccines for this clinic are being provided through a partnership among CSU, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment and the Health District of Northern Larimer County.

If you want to learn more about meningococcal disease and the vaccine clinic, you can visit www.safety.colostate.edu.

_Anne Hudgens is Director of the CSU Health Network and Adrianne LeBailly is the Director of
the Larimer County Health Department. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com._

 Posted by at 4:52 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.