Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler sent the following message to the campus community on Dec. 9, 2013 - Ed.
Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,
I am writing to inform you that one of our students was hospitalized over the weekend for treatment of viral meningitis. We are happy to the report that the student is recovering quickly and expected to return home soon.
It is important that we all be aware of the distinction between viral and bacterial meningitis. Viral meningitis is caused by the same respiratory viruses that can cause colds and on rare occasions the virus invades the linings of the brain causing meningitis. Since it is a virus, antibiotics are NOT necessary, nor are they effective. Persons who have contact with an individual with viral meningitis do not require any treatment, and patients with viral meningitis recover fully without long-term effects. Conversely, the most common form of bacterial meningitis, meningococcal meningitis, can cause serious illness and DOES require antibiotic treatment, for the patient as well as for close intimate contacts.
The good news is that most of our students have received the meningococcal vaccine. If you have not received the vaccine or if you received the vaccine prior to your 16th birthday, the CDC recommends vaccination. The winter break would be a great opportunity to accomplish this as it is covered by most health plans. And as always, continue to wash your hands frequently as we enter the cold and flu season.
Be well – and have a wonderful winter break!