February 26, 2019
A student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick has been diagnosed with meningitis, nearly three weeks after another student came down with the bacterial infection.
In the most recent case, a student hospitalized on Saturday is receiving treatment, the school announced in a mass email sent to all Rutgers students and staff on Sunday. In the first case seen at Rutgers, the affected student was hospitalized and received treatment on February 4 and was then released from the hospital, Patch reports.
Per NBC, the university claims that individuals and students who came into close contact with affected student are being actively notified and given antibiotics just to be safe.
Public health officials are currently evaluating the two Rutgers cases to see if they may be linked, NBC reports. They know that the first student was diagnosed with meningitis type B, the university said, adding that the serogroup (or, type of virus) of meningitis of the second student is still unknown.
Bacterial meningitis is very serious infection that can even result in death. In fact, death can occur in as little as a few hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the majority of patients recover, permanent disabilities — including brain damage, hearing loss and learning disabilities — can linger after the infection.
According to the CDC, symptoms include an abrupt development of fever, headache and stiff neck but these symptoms may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or mental confusion. There are a number of antibiotics that can treat bacterial meningitis, but the best way to protect against the disease is via vaccination, the CDC explains.