Meningitis is a serious disease, and college students are at a higher risk to get certain types of meningitis. Why?
- Shared living arrangements: Meningitis can spread quickly when folks live in close proximity to each other because it is spread by the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (e.g. coughing and kissing). Residence halls and large apartment buildings fit this bill.
- Age: Meningitis risk increases for people age 16-21, which are the ages of high school and traditionally-aged college students.
This spring marks the 6-year anniversary of the vaccine for HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection that causes warts, cervical cancer, and other cancers. Since the vaccine’s debut back in 2006, millions worldwide have been vaccinated against HPV —an effort which is expected to have a serious impact on reducing the incidence of cervical and other anogenital cancers around the globe.
What’s now a commonplace vaccine, however, represents a long (and occasionally weird) history of scientific discovery. On this 6-year vaccinaversary, let’s nerd out for a minute and revisit the complex, sometimes strange, and ultimately successful history of the HPV vaccine.