Meningitis Information for Students & Parents


    In the 86th Legislature, HB 3884 required DSHS to create procedures for school districts to provide information relating to bacterial meningitis to students and parents. DSHS shall prescribe the form and content of the information. School districts should provide the information below on the district website or provide a link to this page on the district website. For school districts that do not maintain a website, the information should be provided in hard copy to each student.

  • What is Meningitis?

  • What are the Symptoms?

  • How serious is Bacterial Meningitis?

  • Who is at risk for Bacterial Meningitis?

  • How can Bacterial Meningitis be prevented?

  • How is Bacterial Meningitis spread?

  • What should you do if you think you or a friend might have Bacterial Meningitis?

  • Meningitis Vaccine Information

    Texas law requires all new college students under 30 years old to receive the meningitis vaccine. Meningitis is a serious disease; its effects can lead to loss of limbs and even loss of life. Bacterial meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord and is spread through respiratory and throat secretions transmitted from coughing and sneezing. Students likely to be at risk to the disease are those who live in close quarters, like college dorms.

    Texas Children’s Hospital has provided an educational video about two college students affected by meningitis titled “Facing Meningitis.” This dramatic video will convey the importance of receiving the meningococcal meningitis vaccine before going to college. Doctors from Texas Children’s say that this compelling video will provide parents and students information and the risks students face if they are not vaccinated against meningitis. Adolescents ages 16 to 21 have the highest rates of infection of meningococcal meningitis. Texas Children’s Hospital is encouraging education and health care associations across the state to use the video as an educational piece when communicating to parents and students about meningitis.

    Texas colleges and universities will not allow students to complete the enrollment process and register for classes without providing proof of the vaccine.

    The CDC recommends that all adolescents ages 11 to 12 receive the meningococcal meningitis vaccine filled by a booster dose at age 16. The Texas Department of State Health Services minimum requirements for immunizations requires all students entering the seventh grade to provide proof of immunization for meningitis and a booster when entering college, even if the student does not live in student housing.

    For information, visit

    More Information

    Your school nurse, family doctor, and the staff at your local or regional health department office are excellent sources for information on all infectious diseases. You may call your family doctor or local health department office to ask about the meningococcal vaccine.  Additional information may also be found at the web sites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): and the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS): or      

    Download this information as a .pdf: BACTERIAL MENINGITIS / MENINGITIS BACTERIANA.

    En Español: Meningitis Bacteriana

    Bacterial Meningitis Information from Texas Health & Human Services Website