Student sickened by bacterial meningitis at CCSU, school says
“There is a relatively new vaccine that does protect against serogroup B, but is not yet required for college students”
December 3, 2018
A case of bacterial meningitis, a potentially life-threatening disease, has seriously sickened a student at Central Connecticut State University, university President Zulma R. Toro said.
Although college students typically receive a vaccine for meningitis, it only protects against four of the five types of Neisseria meningitidis, the bacteria that causes the disease. This student’s illness stems from the fifth type, called serogroup B, according to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
There is a relatively new vaccine that does protect against serogroup B, but is not yet required for college students, the department said.
The New Britain university has been in touch with students who had close contact with the ill student, and ensured they take antibiotics as a preventative treatment.
“Although this is concerning news, we assure you that the university is working with health experts to ensure the safety of our campus community and are confident we have reached out to anyone who might be at risk for contracting the infection,” Toro said.
Bacterial meningitis spreads through person-to-person contact, like sharing utensils or cigarettes, kissing, or sharing a living space with someone who is sick.
“This type of bacterial meningitis is not easily transmittable from person to person,” state health Commissioner Raul Pino said. “It requires close contact over a period of time. Simply being on the same college campus or being in the same classroom as an infected individual does not increase the chances of becoming infected.”
The last confirmed case involving a college-age student in Connecticut occurred in 2016, according to Pino.
Meningitis typically causes the sudden onset of fever, headache and stiff neck. Other symptoms are possible, such as rash, nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and confusion, according to the CDC.
People can also carry the different bacteria in their bodies without getting sick.
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