Senate wants meningitis vaccinations for students

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ The Texas Senate has voted to require college freshman who plan to live in campus housing to be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis.

The disease is caused by bacteria infecting spinal fluid and can result in brain damage, hearing loss, learning disability, and death. It can be easily spread among groups of people living close together. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends routine vaccination of students living in dorms.

The bill is sponsored by Fort Worth Democrat Sen. Wendy Davis. She says there have been 537 cases in Texas since 2002, resulting in 53 deaths. The bill would affect students entering college in 2010 and allows some exceptions.