Federal health regulators have approved the first vaccine to prevent a potentially deadly form of bacterial meningitis often associated with college dormitories.
The Food and Drug Administration says it cleared Pfizer's Trumenba to prevent a subtype of Meningococcal disease in people ages 10 to 25. The bacteria infect the bloodstream and attack the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
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The disease spreads through saliva and other throat fluids via coughing, kissing and sharing utensils. College students living in communal housing are at a slightly higher risk.
Of the 500 cases of meningococcal disease reported in the U.S. in 2012, 160 were caused by the sub-group that Trumenba targets.
The disease can be treated with antibiotics, but vaccination is the most effective way to prevent its spread.