A 19-year-old Washington State University student has been hospitalized in Spokane with a possible case of bacterial meningitis.
The student had been ill with flu-like symptoms two to three days prior to admission. He has been presumptively diagnosed with meningitis due to Neisseria meningitidis bacteria.
The student was a resident of the Stephenson South Residence Hall and there is a risk of infection or transmission to those students who had close contact with this individual.
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.
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 or the 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.