College students, especially freshman living in residence halls, are at a slightly increased risk for contracting meningococcal meningitis. The bacterial form of this disease can lead to serious complications such as; swelling of the brain, coma, and even death within a short period of time. A vaccine is currently available that will decrease, but not completely eliminate a person's risk of acquiring meningococcal meningitis. This element of uncertainty remains because the current vaccine
does not protect against one strain of the disease. The vaccine, Menactra, probably protects for 3-5 years and is extremely safe to use.