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New York State Health Department Meningitis Law

Broome Community College Student Health Services Important Information Concerning the New Meningitis Law

On July 22, 2003, Governor Pataki signed New York State Public Health Law (NYS PHL) #2167 requiring institutions, including colleges and universities, to distribute information about meningococcal disease and vaccination to all students meeting the enrollment criteria, whether they live on or off campus. This law becomes effective on August 15, 2003 (prior to Fall 2003 semester).

Broome Community College is required to maintain a record of the following for each student:

  • A response to receipt of meningococcal disease and vaccine information signed by the student or student's parent or guardian. This must include information on the availability and cost of meningococcal meningitis vaccine (Menomune);
    AND EITHER
  • A record of the meningococcal meningitis immunization within the past 10 years; OR
  • An acknowledgement of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization signed by a student or student's parent or guardian.

Meningitis is rare. However, when it strikes, flu-like symptoms make diagnosis difficult. If not treated early, meningitis can lead to swelling 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 (average age of most college students) have more than doubled since 1991. The disease strikes about 3,000 Americans of all ages each year and claims about 300 lives. Between 100 and 125 meningitis cases occur on college campuses and as many as 15 students will die from the disease.

Vaccine is available through your personal health care provider and/or the Broome County Health Department that protects against four types of the bacteria that cause meningitis in the United States-types A, C, Y, and W-135. These types account for nearly two thirds of meningitis cases among college students. If you are interested in becoming immunized against Meningitis contact your personal health provider or the Broome County Health Department (BCHD) at 778-839-Immunization Clinic. Costs vary with private clinics; BCHD offers Menomune (vaccine) on a sliding fee scale from $82.00 to $64.00.

Below is the required Meningococcal "Meningitis Response Form" that needs to be signed and returned to Broome Community College Student Health Services, Science Building, Room 102. NOTE: Per Public Health Law #2167, no institution may permit a student enrolled for six or more credits to attend classes in excess of 30 days without complying with this law.

To learn more about meningitis and the vaccine, please feel free to contact our health service and/or consult with health care provider. You can also find information about the disease at the College's website by clicking onto the Student Health Service website, New York State Department of Health @ www.health.state.ny.us, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) @ www. cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo, and the American College Health Association (ACHA) @www.acha.org.

Click here for the student Meningococcal Meningitis Vaccination Response Form