Meningitis outbreak at Princeton University: officials

New York: Princeton University is trying to contain an outbreak of bacterial meningitis that has sickened several students, school and health officials said today.

The New Jersey Department of Health said it has confirmed seven cases of meningococcal disease at Princeton, with all but one of the cases involving students.

The meningitis has been identified as "Type B," which is not covered by the standard vaccine commonly administered to students in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making an experimental vaccine available to Princeton, and officials at the northeastern US university said they are in the process of deciding whether to administer it to students.

"This is a question we have been considering very carefully. We will be discussing it with our trustees this weekend, and when we have something to announce we will make an announcement," university spokesman Martin Mbugua told AFP today.

Located in the state of New Jersey, Princeton is considered among America's premier universities and has an enrollment of some 8,000 students.

Meningitis can progress rapidly within hours of the onset of symptoms, and if untreated can lead to shock or death.

Health official say complications can include hearing loss, brain damage or kidney disease.