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State Confirms 7th Meningococcal Case Linked To University of Oregon Outbreak

University of Oregon

Oregon Health Officials have confirmed a seventh case of meningococcal disease linked to the outbreak at the University of Oregon. 

Credit Jes Burns

A 52-year old father of a U of O student visited campus in early May. He then returned home, to another state, and became ill. Lane County Public Health's Jason Davis says samples from the patient were sent to Oregon Health Authority and found to be positive for meningococcal disease. He says the man has since been released from the hospital. Davis says the bacteria can last a long time.

"It can live up to two years in your throat without actually manifesting itself. So, the fact that we've seen this case, we were prepared for it. We certainly wish it wouldn’t have happened but we were prepared for it. "

Davis says the disease can be spread by sharing of a glass or toothbrush so practicing basic hygiene is crucial. Just over half of the students at the U of O have received the vaccination against meningococcal disease. The student health center and local pharmacies are still offering the vaccine. One U of O student died of the disease in February.


Copyright 2015 KLCC

Rachael McDonald is KLCC's All Things Considered host. She also reports on a variety of topics including local government, education, and breaking news.