Invasive meningococcal disease has increased among young adults during
the past decade. Bruce and colleaguesArticle conducted a prospective surveillance
study among US college students from September 1, 1998, to August 31, 1999,
to determine rates of and risk factors for meningococcal disease in this population.
The overall incidence rate for undergraduates was 0.7 per 100 000 persons,
lower than the rate of 1.4 per 100 000 in the general population of 18-
to 23-year-old nonstudents. However, the incidence rate was highest among
freshmen living in dormitories (5.1 per 100 000), and the risk of meningococcal
disease was significantly higher among freshmen living in dormitories compared
with other college students. In a population-based surveillance study from
January 1, 1990, through December 31, 1999, in Maryland, Harrison and colleaguesArticle
found that the incidence and proportion of cases of meningococcal infection
among persons aged 15 through 24 years initially increased and then markedly
decreased in 1998-1999. In an editorial, WengerArticle discusses immunization strategies
as a way to control meningococcal disease.