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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

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Student treated for viral meningitis in good condition, Sept. 17

A Princeton University student who has been diagnosed with viral meningitis -- a much less severe and dangerous illness than bacterial meningitis -- is in good condition and is being treated at the University Medical Center at Princeton.

Although viral meningitis is contagious, the risk of transmission of the illness is very low even to people who have been in close contact with the student, said Daniel Silverman, Princeton's chief medical officer. University Health Services officials have contacted campus community members who may have been in close contact with the student to offer checkups.

"We are tremendously concerned any time one of our students is hospitalized, but we are fortunate to have excellent local medical resources and the good news is that this student is doing well under the circumstances," Silverman said. "We encourage all students to pay close attention to their health and to contact us if they are experiencing anything out of the ordinary."

Viral meningitis can be spread through direct contact with respiratory secretions, saliva or nasal mucus. Most people with normally functioning immune systems will not develop meningitis even if they come in contact with the virus, Silverman said.

Meningitis is an illness in which the tissues that cover the brain and spinal cord become inflamed. Viral meningitis, the most common type, is caused by an infection with one of several types of viruses.

Common symptoms of meningitis are fever, severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to bright lights, drowsiness or confusion, and nausea and vomiting. Students or other campus community members who may be exhibiting any of these symptoms are encouraged to visit University Health Services or to call (609) 258-3141 with any questions.

More information about viral meningitis is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site .

Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601

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