Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely fast. It is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Bacterial Meningitis strikes about 3,000 Americans each year, including 100-125 on college campuses. This disease is transmitted when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, or by sharing drinking containers, utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, etc.) or come in contact with respiratory or throat secretions. Symptoms includes high fever, rash or purple patches on skin, light sensitivity, confusion and sleepiness, lethargy, severe headache, vomiting, stiff neck, nausea, and seizures. The more symptoms, the higher the risk, so when these symptoms appear seek immediate medical attention. Early diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.
In accordance with Texas Education Code 51.9192, Subchapter Z, all first-time students at UT Tyler, including transfer and graduate students, and all students who have previously attended UT Tyler prior to January 1, 2012 and who are enrolling at UT Tyler following a break in enrollment of at least one fall or spring semester are required to provide proof of vaccination against bacterial meningitis at least 10 days prior to the beginning of the semester. All documentation should be submitted to the Enrollment Services Center (ESC) in ADM 230. Exemptions for this requirement are as follows:
- The student is 30 years of age or older.
- The student is enrolled in online-only programs. If the student attends any on-campus classes, they must submit proof of vaccination.
- The student submits an affidavit or a certificate signed by a physician who is duly registered and licensed to practice in the United States, stating, in the physician's opinion, the vaccination required would be injurious to the student's health and well-being.
- The student submits a signed affidavit stating the student declines the vaccination for bacterial meningitis for reasons of conscience, including a religious belief. A conscientious exemption form from the Texas Department of State Health Services must be used. This form is located at: http://webds.dshs.state.tx.us/immco/affidavit.shtm.
Pursuant to HB 4189, all incoming residents of UT Tyler Housing are required to show confirmation from a doctor that they have received a meningitis vaccination no less than 10 days before they will be permitted to move in to on-campus housing. This will affect all incoming residents of Patriot Village, Ornelas Hall, and University Pines.