College students most at risk for rare bacterial infection, study finds

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College students are more likely to develop meningococcus B, an uncommon bacterial infection, according to a study published in Pediatrics.

Three things to know:

1. For the study, researchers analyzed data from 2014 to 2016 on 18- to 24-years-old taken from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System.

2. Researchers found of the 166 cases of any type of meningococcal disease, 51 percent of the cases affected college-age students.

3. About 58 percent of the reported cases were MenB, which about 68 percent of college students contracted. About 32 percent of MenB cases were attributed to campus outbreaks.

"Although the incidence of MenB is low, it is a serious illness, and parents should be aware that a vaccine is available and that it’s something they can talk to their child’s physician about to see if it makes sense to get the vaccine," Sarah Mbaeyi, MD, a medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told NBC News.

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