Meningitis vaccine needed for some Missouri college students

Students living on Missouri public college campuses now must be vaccinated against bacterial meningitis.

A state law requiring the vaccine for those living in on-campus housing took effect Wednesday. Students can seek a religious or medical exemption to the requirement.

Meningococcal disease can cause an inflammation of the brain lining known as meningitis. It can spread among people in crowded places such as dormitories and can strike quickly with sometimes deadly results.

Some symptoms can appear similar to the flu, including fever, headaches and neck stiffness.