In an email sent to the University community on Tuesday, Vice Provost and Director of University Health Service (UHS) Dr. Ralph Manchester said that a River Campus student had been hospitalized with bacterial meningitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), meningitis involves an infection of the cerebrospinal fluid, which causes inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. The disease is treatable with antibiotics, Manchester said, but added that the disease is serious and should be treated immediately.

Meningitis infections can be  bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic in nature. Bacterial meningitis, the type that was diagnosed at UR, is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis. The symptoms of the disease include a headache, fever, a sore neck, and nausea or vomiting. Victims may also become dizzy or sensitive to light.

Manchester noted that the infection is transmitted by “the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions,” citing coughing and kissing as two common vectors for the spread of the disease. He also assured students that Neisseria are not as infectious as most strains of influenza or the common cold.

Students thought to have had prolonged contact with the infected student are being given preventive treatment by UHS.

Passanisi is a member of 

the class of 2017.

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