Saturday, November 23, 2013

Princeton Asks Students to Stop Kissing

Today’s News in Futility

There is a health problem at Princeton, apparently meningitis is a risk to the university population, so Princeton’s response is this.

Fearing the spread of a meningitis outbreak that has caused seven people at Princeton University to be hospitalized this year, university officials have warned students to stop sharing drinks and to avoid kissing. 

Right.  Students should stop kissing.  Next they the school will ask them to do things like go to class, study, and takes tests.  Just another illustration on how out of touch from reality anyone is who is associated with higher education.

On a more serious note the university is considering using a foreign vaccine, one not approved for use in the United States.

Under New Jersey law, meningitis vaccinations are already required for almost all undergraduates at Princeton and other four-year colleges in the state. But the strain of the illness at Princeton — serogroup B — is not covered by the vaccine that is widely available in the United States and that protects against most strains of the disease
Another vaccine, Bexsero, does, but has been approved only by authorities in Europe and Australia. In response to the Princeton outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received special permission from the Food and Drug Administration to import Bexsero. The university’s trustees could decide as early as Monday whether to distribute it, Martin Mbugua, a university spokesman, said. Barbara Reynolds, a C.D.C. spokeswoman, said the vaccination would be voluntary.

And after the crisis has passed maybe Princeton could study the situation and try to explain to the rest of us why a vaccine approved in Europe and Australia, and presumably safe and effective is not approved in this country.  Oh, we're America, if we don't approve of something,  it ain't approved.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect that you are wrong on that last snark there. The US _did_ approve a vaccine, and almost all college students are vaccinated. The problem is that with many vaccines, you have to decide long in advance which strains to protect against, and you sometimes get this wrong. This happens all the time with the flu vaccine.

    There _may_ have been a problem in determining which strains to protect against, but we don't have any information on that. (Presumably Europeans have herd immunity to that strain, so it's unlikely that there's a lovely snark about patient zero being a great European kisser to be had.)