A Muskingum University mens basketball player is confirmed to have bacterial meningitis, according to the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department.
The health department said the 19 year-old reported symptoms early on, “the most crucial part of the disease,” and he is doing extremely well, though he is still hospitalized.
The student’s mother reported his illness to the health department Wednesday after he went home after discovering the symptoms on Saturday.
The health department has teamed up with the Muskingum University Wellness Center in treating members of the mens basketball team with antibiotics. Members of the womens team were also given the option to take antibiotics and, according to the health department, many did after attending a party with the infected student over the weekend.
Linda Barker of the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department said the Wellness Center has “done a great job containing” the disease.
Barker said bacterial meningitis usually creates panic, but oftentimes victims are very isolated. The disease is spread through close contact with the carrier such as kissing and drinking after one another. Students who have not been in close contact with the infected student should not panic.
According to Barker, the student lives in a campus residence hall, but does not have a roommate.
Signs of bacterial, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, include sudden onset fever, headache, and stiff neck. Nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and confusion may also accompany the symptoms.
Barker said those who believe to have the symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
According to Barker, the best way to prevent bacterial meningitis is immunization. It is not recommended for college students to be vaccinated, but Barker said it is recommended.
Vaccinations are available through the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department with valid photo identification and proof of insurance.