An Ohio University first-year student is under observation today for a probable case of viral meningitis. The female student, who lives in Bush Hall, was admitted yesterday to O'Bleness Memorial Hospital. Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi is in regular communication with the student's family.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, viral meningitis is serious but rarely fatal. The recommended treatment for viral meningitis is plenty of rest, fluids and over-the-counter medicine to provide relief from symptoms (e.g. headache, fever).
Because the symptoms for bacterial and viral meningitis are often the same (severe headache, stiff neck, fever, disorientation, lethargy, nausea and vomiting), anyone exhibiting these symptoms is encouraged to contact his or her medical provider for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. While the symptoms of the two forms of meningitis are often the same, they differ significantly in the treatment required.
"We want to make sure that the campus community is aware and informed, and to reinforce with everyone that this is a different issue than what we dealt with in the winter quarter. Although it can be serious, viral meningitis is generally less harmful than bacterial," Lombardi said.
University employees also have thoroughly cleaned the student's room and the bathrooms in her residence hall.
Those who have a concern about exposure or have symptoms described above should see a health care provider. If individuals experience symptoms and the Hudson Health Center is closed, they should visit the O'Bleness Memorial Hospital emergency room, 55 Hospital Drive, Athens.
For additional information, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's frequently asked questions at