From staff reports
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed that the two Ohio University students treated last week for suspected meningitis were infected with a strain of bacteria known as Neisseria meningititis, group B. Group B is the one known infective serotype of five that is not covered by the vaccine.
Both first-year students were treated last week for suspected meningitis at a Columbus medical facility and are making a strong recovery, according to Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi. The first student, a female, lived in Washington Hall, while the second, a male, lived in Tiffin Hall.
According to the CDC, bacterial meningitis -- though rare and not as transmissible as the common cold or flu -- can pass from one person to another through contact with saliva, such as by touching, kissing, drinking from the same cup, being very near someone who sneezes, or having prolonged contact with the infected person. Studies show that meningitis bacteria can't live outside of the body for more than a few minutes. Therefore, infection from the environment is not likely.
A serious illness that progresses quickly and can be fatal, bacterial meningitis infects the linings of the brain and spinal cord. The earlier meningitis is caught, the better chances are for recovery. Some 1,400 to 3,000 cases occur in this country each year, with about 100 to 125 of those on college campuses, according to the American College Health Association.
The Division of Student Affairs will continue to provide information updates with students, parents and the university community by Web, e-mail and through http://www.ohio.edu/emergency
For additional information about bacterial meningitis, see the CDC’s frequently asked questions at http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/bacterial/faqs.htm