BURLINGTON, N.C. -- An Elon University student has a confirmed case of meningitis, Alamance County Health Department confirmed Tuesday.
According to a release, the health department and Elon University Student Health Services have identified high risk contacts to the student and have reached out to them to provide preventative treatment.
Elon University sent a letter to students and faculty about the confirmed case.
The health department says no other cases of meningitis have been identified.
“We are working together with our University partners to treat those that may have had close contact with the individual who is sick and also provide awareness to the Elon University as well as the greater Alamance County community about the illness,” stated Health Director Stacie Saunders.
Meningitis is an irritation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. It can be caused by a virus, bacteria, or other causes.
Meningitis symptoms include fever, severe headache, rash, stiff neck, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting. It can spread by direct contact with saliva, such as shared eating utensils, foods, kissing, and sharing cigarettes.
Tammy Koonce, a communicable disease nurse consultant at Guilford County Public Health says college settings are more prone to the spread of meningitis because of all the shared spaces and close contact. The best way to avoid risk of meningitis is to not share drinks or utensils. She also recommends the vaccine.
Elon University requires students to get certain immunizations before coming to school, but meningitis is not one of them. It's recommended, but not required by North Carolina law.
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