2011-03-26 / News

Meningitis confirmed at OSU-Newark

NEWARK —Licking County Health Department Commissioner Joe Ebel confirmed Tuesday that an Ohio State University at Newark student has contracted bacterial meningitis.

Any students, faculty, or staff members who may have had close contact with the student are being contacted to assist them in receiving the necessary antibiotic treatment. Based on the student’s known recent activities the Health Department’s assessment is that exposure was likely minimal. The student did not reside in the campus dormitory.

Meningitis is an infection of the spinal cord fluid and the fluid that surrounds the brain. Symptoms of the disease can include: high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting. The disease can be spread through direct contact with the patient’s respiratory fluids. This type of exposure can occur through coughing or kissing. In some cases persons with prolonged contact with the patient can also be at risk from contracting the disease. Close contacts would include those living in the same household as the patient and others with frequent close personal contact.

A vaccine is available to prevent bacterial meningitis, and those wishing to receive the vaccine should contact their healthcare provider or the Health Department. The Health Department recommends all incoming college freshman receive the vaccine before attending school in order to protect them against the disease.

For more information visit www.lickingcohealth.org or call the Health Department at 740.349.6535.

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