Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Prevent Meningitis Outbreaks on Campuses

Local News

An Indiana lawmaker is trying to prevent meningitis from spreading on college campuses across the state.
College campuses are filled will people crammed in close quarters, which makes the risk of getting sick that much higher.

Dr. Ward Harbin works at USI’s clinic and talks about the dangers of meningitis, specifically bacterial meningitis.

“It can escalate very rapidly and become very deadly very quickly,” said Dr. Harbin.

Neck stiffness, fever, sensitivity to lights, and headaches are among the symptoms.

In an effort to prevent a meningitis outbreak on college campuses, State Representative Ron Bacon proposed a bill that would require students to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis before attending a public Indiana college or university.

“Well, I’m very excited about it. I think its a great thing,” said Dr. Harbin.

While Dr. Harbin is all on board, some students aren’t so sure.

“When was the last time there really was a meningitis outbreak? How much of a danger is it really?”asked USI Senior Ayla Taylor.

Indiana state law requires 6th and 12th graders to be vaccinated but what about college students from other states who don’t have the same guidelines?

“I don’t really want to catch meningitis. I’d rather you get vaccinated,” said Taylor.

The chances may not be high for an outbreak right now, but this is where preventative care comes in.

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