Student in hospital with meningitis

Student in hospital with meningitis

A University of Illinois student has been hospitalized for bacterial meningitis.

The student was admitted to a hospital in Evanston on Thursday and is receiving treatment there for meningococcal meningitis, according to the UI.

The university declined to identify the student's name or his or her condition.

UI officials have been in touch with people with whom the student had been in close contact, said UI spokeswoman Robin Kaler.

"We've contacted everyone known to be at some risk of infection," she said.

Those people are being treated with antibiotics.

The news comes about a year and a half since a UI student was last diagnosed and treated for bacterial meningitis.

Meningococcal meningitis is an infection of the fluid in the spinal cord and the fluid surrounding the brain. The bacteria that causes meningococcal meningitis can be spread through personal contact. It's not as contagious as the common cold or flu, which can be spread by casual contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Simply sitting beside the person in class would not put another student at risk of infection, Kaler said.

"There has to be close personal contact, such as kissing or sharing a water bottle," she said.

Symptoms include headache, stiff neck and high fever, as well as nausea, vomiting, discomfort when looking at bright lights, confusion, and sleepiness, according to the CDC.

Infection can lead to brain damage, hearing loss or learning disability. It can also require amputation of limbs. Ten percent to 14 percent of cases are fatal.

If students are concerned about their health, they can visit McKinley Health Center or call the UI's Dial-A-Nurse phone line at 333-2700, Kaler said.

Sections (2):News, Local
Topics (1):Education
Categories (3):News, Miscellaneous, Health

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