Senate OKs bill requiring meningitis shot proof

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Legislation that would require incoming students at public higher education institutions to show proof of immunization against meningitis has passed the Senate.

The measure sponsored by Democratic Sen. Lowe Finney of Jackson was unanimously approved 30-0 on Monday. The companion bill is scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday.

The measure is named after Jacob Nunley, a Middle Tennessee State University freshman who died last year after contracting the disease. Sponsors say students who live in close quarters are more susceptible to the disease than others.

Says Finney: "This prevents needless deaths."

Meningococcal meningitis can be spread through such contact as sharing drink bottles. Ten percent of people who contract the disease die -- sometimes within 24 hours.

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