Meningitis – Are You High Risk?

Meningitis is an infection and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or other organisms and is potentially fatal. 

What Increases the Risk for Meningitis?  

  • Living in Residence Halls — due to close living quarters. College freshmen living in a residence hall have a moderately higher increased risk. 
  • Sex. Males contract Meningitis more often than females. 
  • Family History. Some people may inherit the likelihood to develop Meningitis if they come in contact with the organisms that can cause the infection. Some people who have had Meningitis are also more likely than others to get it again. 
  • Kissing, sexual contact, or contact with infected blood can pass the organisms from one person to another. 
  • Smoking. Exposure to active and or passive smoke. 
  • Alcohol use and bar patronage. 
  • For other factors that may increase your risk, discuss your medical history with your family doctor or a doctor at Wick Primary Care at YSU. 


Ohio Legislation now requires that all public and private post-secondary schools shall not permit a student to reside in on-campus housing unless the student (or parent, if student is under 18 years), discloses whether the student has been vaccinated against Meningococcal Meningitis and Hepatitis B. This information is requested on YSU housing applications.