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Published On: Fri, Mar 22nd, 2013

Northern Arizona University student confirmed positive for bacterial meningitis

A Northern Arizona University (NAU) freshman who was living on campus has been admitted to a local hospital to be treated for bacterial meningitis, according to a University news release Thursday.

The AZ Daily Sun reports that at least eight other students are being treated with prophylactic antibiotics as a precaution.

meningococcus

Neisseria meningitidis
Image/CDC

Beth Applebee, executive director of NAU’s Campus Health Services said, “We are identifying individuals who may have had close contact with the student, and they are receiving treatment with antibiotics as a precautionary measure.”

Applebee said close contact refers to individuals who have prolonged contact of more than eight hours and are in close proximity, or who have been directly exposed to the individual’s oral secretions between one week before the onset of symptoms until 24 hours after initiation of antibiotic therapy. Such individuals include household members, roommates and intimate contacts.

Symptoms of meningitis may resemble the flu, including high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms can develop over several hours, or they may take one to two days. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion and sleepiness. As the disease progresses, patients of any age may have seizures.

A person may acquire bacterial meningitis from an infected person through close, direct contact. This can include kissing or sharing of personal items, such as drinking glasses, utensils, smoking materials and possibly through shared food.

The University Campus Health Services is offering the meningitis vaccine during normal business hours at a cost of $115. NAU recommends incoming students receive a vaccine to protect against some forms of meningitis, but does not require one.

Coconino County Health Department reports there are no other cases at this time. The last case reported at NAU was in 2007.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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