WSU Student Hospitalized In Serious Condition With Suspected Cas - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

UPDATE: WSU Student Hospitalized With Case Of Bacterial Meningitis Showing Improvement

Washington State University Press Release: 

PULLMAN, Wash. – A Washington State University student hospitalized with a confirmed case of bacterial meningitis has shown encouraging signs of recovery. Dr. Bruce Wright, executive director or WSU's Health and Wellness Services (HWS), says the 19-year-old male student has been upgraded from critical to stable condition and has been removed from a ventilator.

"This is the best news we've heard," said Wright. "While it's still too early to know of any long-term implications, things are certainly looking up."

Originally from Seattle, the student had been experiencing severe flu-like symptoms for two weeks before he was treated at Pullman Regional Hospital Sunday and transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

The student is a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Whitman County health officials have been working with HWS to identify anyone who may be at risk of contracting the disease. Those who had contact with the student and may be at risk are being offered a precautionary dose of antibiotics.  

About 30 students have been treated. The treatments are highly effective in preventing the spread of the disease. Health officials say a number of people may be exposed to the bacteria, but will never experience any problems.

"It's not a highly contagious disorder. It tends to affect people who, for whatever reason, are kind of run down with their immune system," said Wright. "Maybe sleep deprivation, maybe stress - those kinds of things. So it's kind of opportunistic in that sense."

Transmission occurs by droplets or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. Persons who share common residence hall areas – such as dining halls – or classroom spaces with the affected student are not considered to be a close contact and do not need treatment. Those considered to be close contacts include household members, people socially close enough to have shared saliva (eating utensils, cigarettes, food) and/or anyone directly exposed to nasopharyngeal secretions of the student.

Symptoms associated with bacterial meningococcal infections may include: fever, severe headache, chills, stiff neck, confusion, nausea, vomiting, joint or muscle pain and sometimes a red or purple rash. Persons experiencing these systems should seek immediate medical attention.

WSU and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend anyone living in a dormitory or group housing receive a vaccination to prevent the onset of meningitis. More information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/index.html

 

Previous Coverage: 

Washington State University Press Release: 

PULLMAN, Wash. – A Washington State University student has been hospitalized with a presumptive case of bacterial meningitis. The 19-year-old male student had been experiencing severe flu-like symptoms for two weeks before being treated at Pullman Regional Hospital Sunday and transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane where he remains in critical condition.

The student is a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Whitman County health officials have been working with WSU Student Health to identify anyone who may be at risk of contracting the disease. Those who had contact with the student and may be at risk are being offered a precautionary dose of antibiotics.  

Transmission occurs by droplets or direct contact with infected nasal or throat secretions. Persons who share common residence hall areas – such as dining halls – or classroom spaces with the affected student are not considered to be a close contact and do not need treatment.

Those considered to be close contacts include household members, people socially close enough to have shared saliva (eating utensils, cigarettes, food) and/or anyone directly exposed to nasopharyngeal secretions of the student. Early treatment with antibiotics may effectively get rid of bacteria. The risk to the general public of contracting this infection is very low.

Symptoms associated with bacterial meningococcal infections may include: fever, severe headache, chills, stiff neck, confusion, nausea, vomiting, joint or muscle pain and sometimes a red or purple rash.  Persons experiencing these systems should seek immediate medical attention.

WSU and the Centers for Disease Control recommend anyone living in a dormitory or group housing receive a vaccination to prevent the onset of meningitis. More information is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at: http://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/about/index.html

 

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