Be aware of Meningitis

It is important to know that while rare, Meningitis is a serious illness and college students are at an increased risk.

Meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges. The inflammation is usually caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

Meningococcus bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions such as saliva (e.g., living in close quarters, kissing). Although it can be very serious, meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics that prevent severe illness and reduce the spread of infection from person to person. Quick medical attention is extremely important if meningococcal disease is suspected. Symptoms can include:

  •     High fever
  •     Headache
  •     Stiff neck
  •     Confusion
  •     Nausea & Vomiting

Keeping up to date with recommended vaccines is the best defense against meningococcal disease. Maintaining healthy habits, like getting plenty of rest and not coming into close contact with people who are sick, can also help.

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