LAS CRUCES — More and more universities nationwide require students be vaccinated against meningitis, but New Mexico state University still does not.
The Center for Disease Control said every year more than 1,000 people contract meningitis, which infects the brain and spinal cord.
Ten percent of people who contract the disease die, sometimes within 24 hours.
New Mexico State University freshman, Lauren Tharpe was vaccinated against meningitis because it was required at her high school in Virginia.
She believes every college student should be vaccinated.
"I think meningitis is a serious thing. I think they can spread it easily. I think it should be required," said Tharpe.
College freshman living in dorms are particularly at risk.
"In the dorms, exposed to new bacteria and things out in they weren't in their home life and that puts them at a greater risk," said Carol Nevarez with the NMSU Health Center.
Some of the symptoms include stiff neck, headache, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting.
Even though it's not mandatory for students at NMSU, the university said it could help.
"I say they should get it for long term protection if you do get the results can be bad they can end up in the hospital. It can affect their brain the spinal cord so it definitely helps."
The campus health center does have the vaccine on hand. It costs $150 dollars.
"I think this campus is pretty safe but they should definitely get it for protection," said Nevarez.
UTEP students are required to be vaccinated. Beginning this year, all universities in Texas require the vaccine.
The new state law requires all new students under 30 to have a vaccination against bacterial meningitis. All first time students, transfer students, and students who have taken a leave of absence must have received this vaccination during the five-year period before the start of classes and at least 10 days before the first day of the semester.