Beware of dorm room germs

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PHOENIX, Ariz. - Arizona State University freshmen Emily Campos and her roommate will be calling a tiny dorm room home for the next year.

The18-year-olds brought all kinds of items to decorate their small space, but Campos made sure not to bring any unwanted germs.

She took advantage of a bacterial meningitis vaccination. The infection, which can be fatal, affects the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It's highly contagious, especially for students living in close quarters.   

“I think you have an equal amount of chance getting it anywhere,” Campos said. “I know people who have had two scares of this, but there are all kinds of viruses everywhere.”

A non-profit called OneShot Global through its community partnerships was able to provide the free vaccinations for Campos and all other ASU college students living on campus.

“Sometimes freshmen are hesitant but a lot of times, the parents are a little more realistic and they realize this is important and I don't want my child to get sick,” ASU student Tyler Eltringham said.

Eltringham started the group. He received a grant through the ASU Innovation Challenge.

“I dropped out of high school when I was 16 and I never thought I would go to college, win the ASU Innovation Challenge and be on a full-ride scholarship and suddenly impacting not just my community, but our global community,” Eltringham said.

Meningitis isn't the only illness students need to have on their radar. Everything from athletes’ foot to the flu is highly contagious.

“Make sure you're washing your hands,” Dr. Cara Christ said. “You’re staying in your dorm room when you’re sick so not spreading to other people and that you’re coughing into your arm.”

Christ is with the Arizona Department of Health Services. She said others ways to prevent germs is by keeping your room clean including washing your towels and bedding.

Tips Eltringham supports because after his entire goal is to keep as many students at ASU and around the world as healthy as possible.

Thanks to OneShot Global in just three days at ASU more than 300 students now have the meningitis vaccination.

“For every single vaccine that we give stateside, OneShot donates a vaccination to the meningitis belt of Africa,” Eltringham said.

The doctor says it’s also important for college students to eat right, exercise and get plenty of sleep.

For more information on OneShot Global, call 480-466-3850 or go to www.oneshotglobal.com.