PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — There is another confirmed case of meningitis on the Oregon State University campus, school officials said on Thursday.
The diagnosis marks the 2nd confirmed case of meningitis at the school this week. Both students are said to be in good condition.
Steve Clark, vice president of university relations, released the following statement:
“We are working with the Benton County Health Department, the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division, GSRMC and OSU Student Health Services. All involved recognize that the public’s health and safety is primary. We also want to address concerns that may result from these reported cases of illness. We are acting to fully serve and respond to these cases, prevent as we are able further spread of illness, fully and immediately inform the public and respond to questions and concerns.”
Meningitis spreads through direct contact with an infected person, usually through bodily fluids, according to pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Dawn Nolt.
More than 30,000 students attend OSU. School officials are giving antibiotics to 160 people who may have been in contact with the 2 infected students.
“We get a lot of interest of meningitis in colleges and universities because people spend a lot of time closely together,” Dr. Nolt said. “You should seek medical attention if you experience a stiff neck… headache, vomiting or otherwise feel ill.”
Dr. Nolt said it’s critical to treat meningitis as soon as possible.
“Meningitis means inflammation of the tissue around the brain and spinal cord,” she explained. “Sometimes if it spreads more in the body, or if you haven’t gotten antibiotics quickly, you could have some devastating results.”
She said vaccinations are also key to preventing the spread of meningitis.
KOIN 6 News learned a vaccination was recently developed for the strain of meningitis that one of the OSU students is infected with.
The student diagnosed earlier this week reportedly lives in a private residence, and the person diagnosed Thursday lives in an OSU residence hall, the university said.
Officials are looking into whether both cases are connected.