Missouri state senator pushes for students living on campus be vaccinated for meningitis
Updated On: May 07 2013 06:05:44 PM CDT
On Tuesday, Sen. Gina Walsh from St. Louis County sponsored a bill that would require college freshman to be vaccinated for meningitis.
The University of Missouri already requires the vaccination, but Walsh is hoping this new bill will have other public state colleges and universities follow suit.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported college freshmen are most at risk for contracting meningitis, which is a serious bacterial infection involving the brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms of the virus are rapid and could be confused with the common cold.
"It could be very deadly if you don't know what you have,
Walsh said. "Most of the time you have folks living away from home for the first time and they might just thinking they have a fever and sniffles or something and not that sick."
That is not the case.
Tori Coen is a sophomore at MU. Before moving into her freshman dorm, she was vaccinated for the virus.
"I had a roommate and she was sick a lot so I was pretty much sick for months," said Coen. "So if she had meningitis, I probably would've gotten it too."
The bill has been discussed on the Senate floor; now it's included in three other bills and on its way to the House.
Walsh said it didn't look promising for the bill to pass in the next two weeks, but she will continue to push for the bill to pass in years to come.
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