Published On: Fri, Oct 4th, 2013

‘Probable’ meningococcal meningitis case reported at Princeton, could be sixth case this year

Princeton University officials have announced that a female student with “probable meningococcal disease” may be the sixth bacterial meningitis case since the spring, according to a Princeton press release Thursday.

Blair Hall at Princeton University Public domain photo/Wikimedia commons

Blair Hall at Princeton University Public domain photo/Wikimedia commons

The student, who lived on-campus, has been hospitalized since Wednesday and is receiving treatment for the serious bacterial disease. Confirmation testing is pending on the exact diagnosis.

Health officials will be conducting tests to determine if this case is related to the five cases of meningitis associated with the University since March. The previous cases were caused by meningococcal bacteria known as type B. All five people have since recovered. State law requires all Princeton students living in dorms to have received the licensed meningitis vaccine, which protects against most strains of the bacteria but not type B.

Meningococcal meningitis is caused by a bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis that can infect the lining of the brain and spinal cord. There are a few different types or strains of Neisseria meningitidis. In the US, types B, C and Y cause the majority of disease.

In the US, approximately 800 to 1,500 people are infected with meningococcal meningitis and 120 die from the disease per year. About one of every five survivors lives with permanent disabilities, such as seizures, amputations, kidney disease, deafness, brain damage and psychological problems.

Members of the University community are encouraged to pay increased attention to personal hygienic practices. People at high risk of infection include those with terminal complement deficiency, smokers, and those whose spleen is damaged or has been removed.

University Health Services and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety are encouraging students and other members of the University community to pay increased attention to personal hygienic practices.

Helpful precautions include  always coughing into a sleeve or tissue, washing hands frequently, and using hand sanitizer often and not sharing drinking glasses, smoking materials, eating utensils, or drinking from a common source, such as a punch bowl.

Just a few weeks ago, because of the spring outbreak, the school’s Student Health Advisory Board rolled out an initiative,  “Mine. Not Yours.” drinking cups, to raise awareness and prevent meningitis on campus.

The university advises:

Members of the University community who experience high fever or headache and stiff neck, or have health concerns should immediately go to the nearest hospital emergency room or visit the University’s McCosh Health Center or call (609) 258-3141 during business hours or (609) 258-3139 after hours.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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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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  1. Dara Torres vaccinating against meningococcal meningitis, Saemus Nelson chagas in dogs, Michael Sweet from Stryper - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Likely meningococcal meningitis case at Princeton […]

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