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U Of R Student Diagnosed With Bacterial Meningitis

Officials at the University of Rochester say that a student at the River Campus has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. The student was hospitalized, but was discharged from the hospital over the weekend.

This is a note that went out to the university community last week:

A University of Rochester River Campus student has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis (Neisseria meningitides, Group B) and is currently hospitalized. This appears to be an isolated case and no other cases at the University have been identified. 

University Health Service (UHS) has been working closely with the Monroe County Department of Public Health to initiate the appropriate follow-up with individuals who may have had prolonged direct contact with the student.  UHS is providing preventive medication (prophylaxis) to these individuals as appropriate. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, meningitis is transmitted through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (i.e., coughing, kissing). It is not spread by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been, and most of the bacteria that cause meningitis are not as contagious as viruses that cause the common cold or the flu. Bacterial meningitis can be treated with a number of effective antibiotics, but it is serious and does require immediate medical attention. 

Symptoms generally develop within 3-7 days of exposure/contact with secretions and can include the sudden onset of a headache, fever, sore neck and nausea and/or vomiting, as well as increased sensitivity to light (photophobia), and confusion.

For more information, contact UHS at (585) 275-2662.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.