Four UC Santa Barbara students have been treated for the B strain of Meningitis, including one who had his feet amputated because of complications from the disease.
Safety concerns caused one UCSB parent to take drastic measures to keep her son safe. As administrators at UCSB struggled to deal with the outbreak, The parents of of Jacob Fauman decided to take matters into their own hands.
After hearing that UCSB freshman Aaron Loy had his feet amputated as a result of being infected by Meningitis, Fauman's mom, Dr. Cristina Lete, a physician from Massachusetts, arranged for her son to fly to London to receive the shot.
"There is a vaccine available for the a-strain, but not for the B-strain, at least not in the United States, and it's the B-strain which is affecting the students at UCSB," said Dr. William Meller, a board certified internal medicine specialist. He added that he wasn't surprised that the FDA has been slow to approve the vaccine because they are generally cautious about approving new treatments.
The trip to London will cost Fauman's family over $4000 dollars, a price they are willing to pay for their son's safety. But Dr. Meller believes that simple education can also be a helpful safety measure.
"I would just tell everyone to be careful. There are things you can do to protect youself."