Only one case reported so far; not likely to develop into meningitis
A 19-year-old male CU student was diagnosed Tuesday with bacterial meningococcal disease but is now recovering at home.
“There is no meningitis outbreak,” said Robert Cranny, the Director of Wardenburg Health Center. This case is the only one reported on campus thus far.
“(Neither condition) is running rampant around the campus. There are no other cases that we know of,” Cranny said.
Meningococcal disease eventually develops into meningitis. Meningitis causes swelling of the spine and brain, Cranny said.
“This student’s (meningococcus) did not progress to (meningitis) because it was caught early,” Cranny said. “The student is doing well. He is not in the hospital, and he is recovering.”
Cranny also said on a college campus, meningococcus typically develops into meningitis before it is caught and treated.
Meningitis and meningococcal disease are spread by close contact with others, such as the sharing of drinks and utensils. It is passed by immediate contact such as coughing in somebody else’s face, Cranny said. Symptoms include fever, rash, aches and a sudden drop in blood pressure, which causes dizziness.
“There is a nationwide shortage of vaccines,” Cranny said. “We like to have about 200 over the summer, and we had about 80. We are getting a few more doses in now. I’m not typically worried about (the shortage of vaccines) now because we are not typically in the meningitis season.”
“This is rare to see this early in the season,” Cranny said.
Wardenburg is having its campus-wide flu and meningitis clinic beginning in October.
“We have been assured by the vendor that they have the necessary doses for the meningococcal vaccine. We get between 400 and 800 vaccines,” Cranny said.
Anybody interested can get the vaccine, but the clinic is aimed at people who live in the residence halls because the close living quarters make disease easy to transmit, Cranny said.
Students can visit the Wardenburg website to gather more information on meningococcus and available vaccines.