Meningitis is a serious and potentially life threatening condition that frequently appears on college campuses, so it’s important to know the facts.
What is meningitis?
Meningitis is an inflammation of the meninges. Meninges are the 3 membranes that line the skull and enclose the brain and spinal cord. Inflammation of the meninges is caused by viral or bacterial infection.
• Viral meningitis is spread person-to-person through indirect/direct contact with someone’s salvia or mucus, respiratory secretions, or fecal contamination.
• Bacterial Meningitis is spread through the exchange of salvia or mucus, through kissing and/or sharing cups and utensils. You cannot get meningitis through casual contact, like shaking hands, or by just standing in a room with someone who has meningitis.
If you suspect meningitis it is important to see treatment as quickly as possible!
• With viral meningitis, most patients recover on their own within 7 to 10 days. A hospital stay may be necessary in more severe cases or for people with weak immune systems.
• Bacterial meningitis can be treated effectively with antibiotics. It is important that treatment be started as soon as possible. These antibiotics will also be recommended to anyone who has come in close contact with an infected individual.
• Wash your hands
• Disinfect surfaces that you touch frequently
• Avoid kissing and/or sharing cups and utensils with sick people
• There is no vaccine for viral meningitis; however there are vaccines for bacterial meningitis. It is important to receive these vaccinations. For more information about meningitis vaccinations contact Student Health Services 610.436.2509!