WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- On Thursday, Wake Forest University officials informed students, faculty and staff that an undergraduate student tested positive for bacterial meningitis.
The university sent a message to the campus community that reads in part:
"Wake Forest University Student Health Service has been informed that an undergraduate student tested positive for bacterial meningitis this morning. The student is currently being treated for this condition at a local hospital. No other recent cases of meningitis have been reported at Wake Forest."
The message went on to say:
Wake Forest is following the direction of the Forsyth County Health Department and infectious disease experts at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to minimize the risk of infection to our community. For privacy reasons, the University is not releasing the student’s name, though a team of Campus Life professionals is identifying and notifying individuals who may have had close contact with the student. At the advice of local and state health officials, preventive antibiotics will be promptly provided to the individuals who have been identified.
General information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about meningitis, how it is spread, and how to protect yourself from infection includes:
- Meningitis is a medical condition that is caused by inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It often affects children and young adults, although persons of any age can become infected. A small number of people with this infection will have a serious illness. This disease is most commonly seen in late winter and early spring.
- Meningitis is not a highly communicable disease. It requires direct and extended contact with the saliva, nasal and throat secretions of infected persons. After exposure, symptoms may be seen within 2-10 days.
- Symptoms may include the following: sudden onset of fever, severe headache, rash, stiff neck, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting. Preventive antibiotic treatment is only recommended for individuals who might have had close contact with the infected student.
University officials ask anyone experiencing any of the symptoms listed above to contact WFU Student Health Service or contact your primary care physician right away.
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