Unconfirmed case of bacterial meningitis on campus

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Muskingum University is investigating an unconfirmed case of bacterial meningitis involving a student, according to a University statement.

The student and student’s family have been in communication with Muskingum University. The University is working with the Muskingum County Health Department in handling the matter.

Wednesday’s mens home basketball game against Mount Union and womens basketball game at Mount Union have been postponed until Feb. 15.

Bacterial Meningitis is typically a severe infection which can spread in community settings.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, places like college freshman residence halls increase the risk for developing the disease.

The disease infects areas surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The CDC says the germs that cause bacterial meningitis can be contagious, but not as contagious as the common cold or flu.

Bacteria can be spread through the exchange of saliva or mucus and through kissing. Simply breathing the same air of an infected person or casual contact is not cause for spread of the bacteria.

Symptoms of bacterial meningitis include sudden onset fever, headache, and stiff neck. Nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light and confusion may also accompany the symptoms.

It usually takes between three and seven days for symptoms to show after exposure to the bacteria. Later symptoms of the disease can be as severe as seizures and coma.

While most meningitis cases lead to recovery, the CDC says more serious cases can lead to brain damage, hearing loss, learning disabilities, and death.

Ways to protect against developing the disease include vaccination for the three types of bacteria that cause meningitis, meningococcus, pneumococcus, and Hib. Those in close contact with an infected person may be recommended antibiotics.

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