Meningococcal Meningitis

Meningococcal Meningitis

On July 23, 2003 Governer Pataki signed New York State Public Health Law (NYS PHL) § 2167 requiring institutions, including colleges and universities, to distribute information about meningococcal disease and vaccination to all students meeting the enrollment criteria, whether they live on or of campus. This law has been effective since August 15, 2003.

Cooper Union is required to maintain a record of the following for each student:

Health forms, including the Meningococcal Meningitis Response Form, can be downloaded here.

  • A response to receipt of meningococcal disease and vaccine information signed by the student or student's parent or guardian.
  • A record of meningococcal meningitis immunization within the past 10 years;
  • OR
  • An acknowledgement of meningococcal disease risks and refusal of meningococcal meningitis immunization signed by the student or student's parent or guardian.

Meningitis is rare. However, when it strikes, its flu-like symptoms make diagnosis difficult. If not treated early, meningitis can lead to swelling of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal seizures, limb amputation, and even death.

Cases of meningitis among teens and young adults 15 to 24 years of age (the age of most college students) have more than doubled since 1991. The disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year and claims about 300 lives. Between 100 and 125 meningitis cases occur on college campuses and as many as 15 students will die from the disease.

A vaccine is available that protects against four types of the bacteria that cause meningitis in the United States - types A, C, Y, AND W-135. These types account for nearly two thirds of meningitis cases among college students.

Cooper Union does not offer meningococcal vaccinations.

You may find a physician or office near you that stocks the meningitis vaccine at National Meningitis Association.

To learn more about meningitis and the vaccine, please feel free to contact our health service and or consult your child's physician. You can also find information about the disease at:

Meningitis On Campus
New York State Dept. of Health
Center for Disease Control Prevention

Last updated: August 25, 2008.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.