One case of bacterial meningitis confirmed on campus, May 7

A Princeton University student has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. The student is receiving treatment at a local hospital.

The student was taken to the hospital Monday night while experiencing symptoms of meningitis, and test results this morning confirmed that he had bacterial meningitis.

Bacterial meningitis is contagious, but generally is transmitted through direct exchange of respiratory and throat secretions by close personal contact, such as coughing, sharing drinks, kissing and being in close proximity for an extended period. Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as the common cold or the flu, and they are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.

Once diagnosed, bacterial meningitis is treatable with common antibiotics. Signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis could include high fever, headache and stiff neck. These symptoms can develop over several hours, or they may take one to two days. State law requires all Princeton students living in dorms to have received the meningitis vaccine, which protects against most strains of the bacteria.

The University is coordinating its response with regional and state health officials, and those who had close contact with the student are being notified so they can receive any needed medical attention.

University Health Services and the Office of Environmental Health and Safety are encouraging members of the University community to pay increased attention to personal hygienic practices in light of this confirmed case.

Members of the University community who experience symptoms or have health concerns may visit the University’s McCosh Health Center or call (609) 258-3141 during business hours, and (609) 258-3139 after hours.

More information about bacterial meningitis is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The University has additional information online.