Student Hospitalized with Bacterial Meningitis

Posted: February 21, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

On Friday, Feb. 18, a graduate English student was hospitalized with meningococcal disease. The student lives off campus. While the risk of infection is minimal, Student Health Services wants the university community to be aware of the risk factors and take appropriate precautions.

How can I get bacterial meningitis?

  • Infection is spread by droplets from the respiratory tract produced by sneezing and coughing and requires close person-to-person contact for several hours.

  • Examples of close person-to-person contact include kissing and sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils, cigarettes, and toothbrushes.

  • You cannot get bacterial meningitis simply by being in class with the infected person.

What are the symptoms?

  • High fever

  • Headache and neck pain

  • Body rash

  • General flu-like symptoms (nausea, vomiting, and sore throat)

Meningococcal bacteria cannot usually live for more than a few minutes outside the body. As a result, they are not easily transmitted in water supplies, swimming pools, or by routine contact with an infected person in a classroom, dining room, or rest room.

Student Health Services has recommended a 500-mg, one-time dose of the antibiotic Cipro for the patient’s close contacts. Also, it is being offered to the following individuals:

  • Students and faculty in English 617, “Poetry Writing Workshop,” taught by Jennifer Atkinson, meets Thursdays at 4:30 p.m.

  • Students and faculty in English 660, “20th Century American Poetry of Witness,” taught by Carolyn Forche, meets Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m.

  • Students and faculty in English 685, section 002, “Meditative Mode,” taught by Eric Pankey, meets Tuesdays at 7:20 p.m.

  • Students and faculty in CAS 101, section 001, “Presenting/Processing Using Technology,” taught by Steven Weinberger, meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3 p.m.

The antibiotic is available today from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Student Health Services, SUB I, Room 232. Student Health Services will continue to offer the meningitis vaccine on Monday mornings from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and Wednesday afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m.

For more information, call x32830.

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