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Health Services offers annual influenza vaccinations, starting in the fall, and are strongly encouraged. A study in Clinical Infectious Diseases found that colds and flu-like illnesses are common in college students and that they negatively affect class attendance and school performance. Germs spread quickly in classrooms and communal living spaces. Getting vaccinated is a safe and effective way to offer protection against seasonal influenza.

For more information regarding Influenza, consult the Center for Disease Control website.

Hepatitis B and Meningitis

Wisconsin State Statue 36.25(46) requires that all students who will be residing in a campus residence hall receive yearly information regarding the risks associated with Hepatitis B and Meningococcal disease and the effectiveness of the vaccines available to prevent these diseases. The student who resides in a campus housing must affirm whether they have received vaccinations against Meningococcal disease and/or Hepatitis B and must provide the dates of the vaccinations if any. The parents of minor students must provide this information.
Immunizations for Meningitis and Hepatitis B are strongly encouraged. It is recommended that you receive them prior to coming to campus.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can lead to chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure, and even death. HBV is spread by contact with blood or other body fluids. Many people will have no symptoms when they develop the disease. The primary risk factors for Hepatitis B are sexual activity and injecting drug use.

Hepatitis B is completely preventable. A series of 3 doses of the vaccine is available to all age groups and required for optimal protection. Missed doses may still be sought to complete the series if only one or two have been acquired. The HBV vaccine has a record of safety and is believed to confer lifelong immunity in most cases. Hepatitis B vaccine is very effective for preventing Hepatitis B virus infection. After receiving all three doses, the vaccine provides greater than 90% protection.

For more information regarding Hepatitis B, consult Center for Disease Control website.


Meningitis is inflammation of the protective membranes surrounding the brain or spinal cord and is usually caused by an infection. Meningitis is most often caused by bacteria or a virus. Bacterial meningitis can be extremely dangerous. Symptoms can come on suddenly and progress quickly. 10-15% of cases result in death. 1 in 5 people that survive will then live with permanent disabilities such as brain damage, hearing loss, kidney damage, or limb amputation.

College students are at a higher risk of contracting meningitis because of the close living quarters. Meningitis is spread by oral and nasal respiratory secretions during close contact like kissing or coughing on someone. Meningitis bacteria cannot live outside of the body for very long so is not spread as easily as a cold virus. To prevent contracting Meningitis you should receive the recommended vaccines, wash your hands, and cover your cough. There are 2 different types of the Meningitis vaccine and you need both to ensure the most protection. No vaccine can guarantee 100% effectiveness, but can significantly reduce your risk of illness. The first meningitis vaccine protects against serogroups A, C, W, and Y. The other protects against serogroup B. Depending on the brand, you may need 2 or 3 doses to be fully vaccinated. Meningitis symptoms are similar to those of the flu, come on suddenly, and may become deadly fast. Treatment should be provided early with antibiotics. People who are in close contact with the infected person should also be treated as a precautionary measure.

For more information regarding Meningitis, consult the Center for Disease Control website.


Based on current infection rates, we are strongly encouraging all students, staff, and faculty to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations. Masking is strongly encouraged while experiencing upper respiratory symptoms. We recommend following CDC guidelines for testing and isolation.

For more information regarding COVID-19, including vaccination recommendations. Consult the Center for Disease Control website for more information.

New Covid Guidelines:

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Ripon College has followed the CDC guidelines, along with recommendations from the Fond du Lac County Health Department, in regards to testing, isolation, and masking.  Ripon College will be adjusting our Covid-19 recommendations to be consistent with the updated CDC guidelines effective Thursday, March 21 2024.

When individuals become ill with a respiratory virus (COVID, Influenza, RSV, common cold) there will no longer be a specific isolation period, except for those working in healthcare.  Instead, we ask that you stay home and away from others.  Then, return to normal activities when symptoms are improving overall, and if a fever was present, it has been gone, for at least 24 hours, without the use of a fever-reducing medication.  Once individuals resume normal activities, they are encouraged to take additional precautions for the next 5 days to minimize the disease spread.

These include the following:

  • Good handwashing & hygiene practices (covering cough & sneezes, wiping down surfaces)
  • Wearing a well-fitting mask until symptoms resolve
  • Social distancing
  • Getting tested for respiratory illnesses
  • Seeking treatment if you are at high risk of severe illness

CDC also continues to recommend the following preventative measures:

  • Staying up to date on immunizations
  • Practicing good hand washing & hygiene practices (covering cough & sneezes, wiping down surfaces)
  • Improving air quality with indoor air purifiers, spending more time outdoors, or increasing the intake of fresh outside air

Health Services will continue to test students, staff, and faculty who are symptomatic for respiratory illnesses including Influenza and Covid.

We hope that these recommendations help to simplify the management of COVID and other respiratory illnesses, and that all individuals at Ripon College will be considerate of others when ill, by following these guidelines, to help keep our campus healthy.

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough (DTap, Tdap)

Recommended vaccinations are every 10 years, or after 5 years in severe injury or dirty wounds or burns.

For more information regarding Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Whooping Cough vaccinations, consult the Center for Disease Control website.

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)

Recommend 2 doses of the vaccine for students post high school without presumptive evidence of immunity.

For more information regarding MMR vaccinations, consult the Center for Disease Control website.