ALERT: WSU Student Believed Affected by Meningitis - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

ALERT: WSU Student Believed To Be Affected By Meningitis

PULLMAN, Wash. - A Washington State University student has been hospitalized by a possible case of bacterial meningitis. WSU Health and Wellness caregivers say the 19-year old male student has been presumptively diagnosed with meningitis due to Neisseria meningitidis bacteria. The student had been ill with flu like symptoms for 2-3 days prior to admission, and is now in a Spokane hospital undergoing further care and treatment.

The student was a resident of the Stephenson South Residence Hall. The primary risk is to those students who have been in close contact. Whitman County Public Health officials, in conjunction with the WSU Health and Wellness Service, have notified close contacts of the affected student and are recommending they undergo antibiotic treatment to prevent further illness. Close contacts are defined as those persons who are; roommates/household members, a sexual partner of the ill person, or who shared smoking or eating utensils with the ill person within the last 10 days (since November 28th, 2010). 

Persons who share common residence hall areas (such as dining halls) or classroom spaces with the affected student are not considered close contacts and do not need treatment.

 If you are someone who meets the definition of a close contact, please call:

  • Your personal physician WSU Health and Wellness Services at 335-3575 if you are a WSU student
  • Whitman County Health Department, 509-397-6280 if you are not a WSU student.  
  • Symptoms of meningococcal disease usually involve high fever, headache, and stiff neck which develop over several hours, or up to 1 to 2 days.
  • Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion, and sleepiness. 

Anyone with these symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately.

 Meningitis, while rare does happen on college campuses.  While taken seriously, caregivers at WSU typically only see a case of Meningitis every few years. 

 For more information, check out the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at: http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/about/faq.html

For more information on WSU's Health and Wellness, see: http://hws.wsu.edu

For the latest information on the WSU case, go to: http://alert.wsu.edu

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