Meningitis Case Leads to Precautions at WVU

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University’s Student Health Service is providing students who may have been exposed to meningitis with an antibiotic as a precaution. The students are those who spent time with a 19-year-old female student who became ill over the weekend.

The young woman is currently being treated at WVU Hospitals for symptoms that may be related to bacterial meningitis.  However, the diagnosis hasn’t been confirmed yet by lab results.

The student lives off campus.  WVU is working with her roommate and friends to identify other people who may have been exposed to the disease, so that they can get the protective treatment.

Jan Palmer, M.D., director of Student Health, says meningitis can be spread through intimate and non-intimate contact.  Being in the same room with an infected person for four continuous hours raises the risk. It can be carried in saliva; so even sharing drinks can be a method of transmission.

Anyone who develops the combination of a stiff neck, headache, high fever, vomiting, and sore throat, or most of these symptoms, should seek medical attention immediately.

Students who need advice or want more information can contact Student Health at 293-2311.


For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
alj: 03-02-09

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