MathBench > Microbiology

Frank's Story

Biological interlude

Why isn't Sven sick? options

He has never come in contact with the meningococcal bacteria

Meningitis is like Chicken Pox -- Sven had it when he was little, and now he is immune

Sven really is sick, he just hasn't told anyone

Sven carries the meningitis bacteria, but it doesn't affect him

How did the organism get from Sven to Frank? dirty dishes

Sven gave Frank a bloody nose, and the bacteria was transferred directly into the bloodstream

Sven and Frank have been breathing the same air because they live in the same dorm room.

Frank drank from Sven's water bottle

Sven often leaves dirty dishes laying around

Let's assume that Frank got the bacteria into his throat, and that it happened last week. If Serogroup B doesn't usually cause an invasive infection, then why does Frank get sick?

Frank has a gene which causes him to be receptive to Serogroup B

Frank was playing football all afternoon, so his immune system was depressed

Frank got a nosebleed

Frank's nosebleed offered the bacteria a way into his bloodstream


immunizationIs it a good idea for college students to get immunized for meningitis?

No, they get all the immunizations they need by the age of 5

No, because most people get over meningitis

No, because college students are no more likely than anyone else to get meningitis

Yes, because college students do many careless things, so they need lots of vaccinations

Yes, because college students encounter many people from other countries

photo credits: vaccine | dirty dishes