TODAY   |  November 16, 2013

Princeton battles meningitis with European vaccine

Help to end an outbreak of a rare strain of meningitis may soon be on its way to Princeton, with the Center for Disease Control giving the green light to import a special drug from Europe. NBC’s Kristen Dahlgren reports.

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>>> a major health concern this morning on the campus of princeton university why an outbreak of a rare and potentially deadly disease. kristen is here with more on this story.

>> like most schools, princeton does require students to get a vaccination for meningitis but unfortunately that doesn't care the rare type b strain that has sickened seven people at the university and the cdc is concerned it is now looking into a vaccine that hasn't been proofed in the u.s.

>> reporter: since the spring, seven students have fallen ill with meningitis b. a strain that kills 10% of young adults infected and one not covered by vaccinations given to u.s. college students.

>> you never think it's going to happen to you but especially when you don't have the protection you normally do have against meningitis.

>> reporter: on friday the cdc gave the okay to import this medicine. it could allow princeton to inoculate all 8,000 students to prevent the spread.

>> if they do good research on the side effects and i would take the vac keen.

>> reporter: it started when a student returned from spring break . six have contracted the bacteria including a male student hospitalized last weekend.

>> they have a very, very bad headache. maybe the worst type of headache that they have ever had.

>> reporter: until vaccinations for the b-strain arrive, the school will continue to educate, students and faculty and staff on way to protects themselves and others. that included an e-mail to all students this week and this is homecoming weekend so that means a lot of people in close quarters. they are very concerned. now the vaccine is improved by the cdc, the trustees will discuss the issue over the weekend. erica, i'm headed down to princeton after the show today so we will have much more tonight on "nightly news."

>> and homecoming this weekend, so