In just a few weeks, classes will be back in session at college campuses across Central Georgia, and they’ll welcome back a new group of students, and with new students come new germs.
Front campus may look deserted now, but August 21st, Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville will welcome back thousands of students, and they're all required to be vaccinated.
Robyn Ormond had to go through the shots with her two kids, one of whom will be a sophomore at Georgia College.
"I think it's a good thing," Ormond said. "Living in such close proximity, in dorms, you know, when they're freshmen… a lot of germs, a lot of things."
She says she kept up with her kids' vaccinations over the years and says she wasn't worried about them catching an illness when they got to college.
"You know, just having that assurance that they've got these vaccinations now has been great," Ormond said.
But there's one illness she says scares her to think about, an illness that could be deadly. That's meningitis, an inflammation of the lining of the brain.
"Early on, it's severe headaches, fever, neck stiffness is common," Alice Loper said. "Not just, 'Oh, my neck feels tight,' it's a definite stiffness of the neck."
Georgia College's Director of Health Services, Alice Loper, says the university requires a number of vaccinations before students can attend, but a shot for meningitis isn't on the list.
Loper says college students are more susceptible to the illness.
"Drinking after each other or eating after each other, it's spread by sneezing or coughing, the respiratory droplets," Loper said. "You're in classes together, you're in lots of social situations, so it's just a good breeding spot for diseases like this."
Loper says she highly recommends parents to get their new college students vaccinated with that optional shot, along with the flu shot.
She says as long as you've turned in the verified immunization form, and had all the vaccinations done that are required, your student should be in the clear.
Loper says if you think you or someone you know may have meningitis, go to the hospital immediately, for she warns that it's a rapid progressing illness.
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