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.
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.