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Published: November 7, 2017 Author: Staff reports

The following message was sent by Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones to the campus community on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff,

I am writing to you today to let you know that we have a probable case of viral meningitis. The off-campus student is in the hospital and doing well. I know you join me in wishing our Bobcat a full and quick recovery. Because meningitis can be a very serious health issue that affects young people disproportionately, I wanted to share some additional information about viral meningitis with you.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meningitis is usually caused by a viral (most common) or bacterial infection. Bacterial meningitis, which can be prevented with vaccination, can be quite severe and is treated aggressively with antibiotics.

This case is viral meningitis, which is generally less severe, is not able to be prevented by vaccination, and resolves without specific treatment. For additional information, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's webpage at http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/viral.html.

The viruses that cause viral meningitis are contagious, are most often spread through direct personal contact with an infected person (such as exposure to saliva or nasal mucous), just like the common cold. However, only a small number of people who actually get infected with these viruses will actually develop viral meningitis. Adhering to good personal hygiene will lessen your chances of becoming infected with the virus. 

Common symptoms of meningitis include severe headache, stiff neck, fever, disorientation, lethargy, nausea and vomiting. If you have a concern about exposure or have symptoms described above, you should take appropriate precautions and see a health care provider. Campus Care is open throughout the week to students from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday in Hudson Health Center and also can be reached at Campus Care 740-592-7100.

Please do not hesitate to call the Dean of Students Office at 740-593-1800 or stop by Baker University Center 345 if you have any questions or concerns. 

Jenny Hall-Jones, Ph.D.

Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students