Sixth student diagnosed with meningococcal disease at OSU

Another student has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease at OSU. This is the sixth case in the past year.

Posted: Dec 20, 2017 10:34 AM
Updated: Dec 20, 2017 12:48 PM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Another meningococcal case has been confirmed at Oregon State University.

OSU Vice President for university relations and marketing, Steve Clark said a 21-year-old undergraduate student was hospitalized on December 17 with meningitis. The student was diagnosed with meningococcal disease but the strain has not been identified yet.

This is the sixth case within the past year at the university. There were two cases in November of 2016, one in February of 2017, another in October and one in November.

The university held multiple vaccination clinics in response to the previous cases.

Symptoms of the disease include high fever, headache, stiff neck, exhaustion, nausea, rash, and vomiting. Health officials said people who have spent at least four hours in close contact with a person suffering from the disease, within seven days before the illness started, are at risk.

Health officials said the best way to prevent meningococcal disease is by vaccination and a minimum of two doses is required to provide protection. Other ways they recommended to lower the risk of infection include:

- Providing vaccines to children and young adults.
- Preventing respiratory tract infections by receiving an influenza vaccine and avoiding close contact with people with coughs and colds.
- Engaging in frequent hand-washing.
- Not sharing cups, water bottles, eating utensils or smoking devices.
- Not smoking tobacco or marijuana. Studies have shown that smokers are 3-4 times more likely to contract the disease.
- Not letting children be exposed to second-hand cigarette smoke.

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