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Published On: Wed, Dec 11th, 2013

UC Riverside employee diagnosed with bacterial meningitis

The University of California, Riverside (UCR) announced Tuesday of a staff member that was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis over the weekend.The university will not release the employees name due to privacy laws.

Public domain image/Mikael Häggström

Public domain image/Mikael Häggström

The university is taking precautions to prevent the spread of the disease, which includes alerting the campus community to the situation; contacting and advising people whom public health officials believe are at risk; thoroughly cleaning the office areas affected; and working closely with the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

“Bacterial meningitis is not as contagious as the cold or the flu, but it is still wise to take precautions,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox in a statement sent out to all students, staff and faculty members.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), meningitis infection may show up in a person by a sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. It will often have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light (photophobia) and altered mental status (confusion).

The symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within 3-7 days after exposure.

This is the fifth case of bacterial meningitis reported in the University of California system, the other four from UC Santa Barbara.

What can be done to prevent the spread of the disease?

  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, especially before eating.
  • Do not share utensils, water bottles or other items contaminated by another person.
  • Stay home when you are sick and avoid other people who are ill, if possible.
  • Avoid crowded, smoky settings, as smoke seems to make people more vulnerable.
  • Get a flu shot to stay well.

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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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