a health crisis at an ivy league school, princeton university. An outbreak of an unusual potentially deadly strain of meningitis. And it is so serious, that the cdc is taking an unprecedented step... See More
a health crisis at an ivy league school, princeton university. An outbreak of an unusual potentially deadly strain of meningitis. And it is so serious, that the cdc is taking an unprecedented step tonight. They are rushing to get a vaccine, that might help control the outbreak, even though that vaccine is not yet approved here in the united states. Abc's lindsey davis has the details. Reporter: With seven cases of meningitis diagnosed at princeton since march, new jersey health officials declared an outbreak. It is very serious. Reporter: So serious in fact the cdc is taking the unprecedented move of importing emergency doses of the meningitis vaccine not yet approved for use in this country. Late today government health officials confirmed, they have agreed to import bexero. It protects against meningitis b, the particular strain the students have been diagnosed with. Bacterial meningitis is a dangerous infection of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It is spread through respiratory droplets exchanged through close contact such as coughing or kissing making campuses a breeding ground. You typically see if someone says I'm not feeling well they tell a family member or friend, and then in a matter of hours or less, they can get really sick very quick. Reporter: Early symptoms resemble a cold or flu, which can be common at this time of year. Why the cdc isn't taking chances. In hopes of stopping the spread of an illness, that kills 10% or more of teens and young adults who get it. If a vaccination plan is rolled out it could aim to inoculate the nearly 8,000 students at princeton. University officials, however, wouldn't say if the vaccination effort would be launched. Only releasing this statement. When we have something to announce we will make an announcement. The symptoms of meningitis develop within three to seven days after exposure. The cdc tells us, the risk for princeton university students is quite high. And one concern is that because it's thanksgiving time a lot of students will head home and potentially bringing unwanted germs with them. Again, three to seven days after exposure. Reporter: That's right. Linsey davis, thanks so much
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