Health: What Is Bacterial Meningitis? Exposure Reported At Duke University


“Casual contact does not transmit the infection.”

November 20, 2018


Meningitis is a serious condition where the membranes around your brain and spinal cord become inflamed. While it may be triggered by a viral infection, it can also be caused by a bacterial infection which was said to be serious and possibly life-threatening.

In most cases, the bacteria tend to spread from person to person via direct exposure to saliva. Kissing, for instance, can easily transmit the infection. Other examples include sharing a drink, a toothbrush, or being exposed to the infected person coughing. Casual forms of contact — such as shaking hands or simply touching the same object — does not transmit the infection.

Furthermore, some people can carry and spread the bacteria without becoming sick, according to Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a board-certified infectious disease physician at the University of Pittsburg. Getting vaccinated on schedule was an effective way to reduce the risk of infection caused by certain strains of bacteria.

On Monday night, it was announced an undergraduate student from Duke University had tested positive for bacterial meningitis. The student has been admitted to the hospital.

Doctors from the university, located in Durham, North Carolina, have reached out to other students who may have been in close contact with the patient. They have been advised to contact their nearest health department and take antibiotics as a precautionary measure.

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Emma Harrison