Feb. 1, 2001
James Nelson, Student Health Center, (515) 294-5802
John McCarroll, University Relations, (515) 294-6137
SINGLE CASE OF MENINGITIS REPORTED AT IOWA STATE
AMES, Iowa An Iowa State University student has been
diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and hospitalized.
University officials are now contacting people who might have had
very close contact with the student. A preventive antibiotic, "Cipro," will
be given to anyone who has had contact with the student, said James Nelson,
director of the Student Health Center.
University officials were informed of the student's condition on
Wednesday (Jan. 31). State and county health officials have been notified of
Meningitis is an infection of the fluid of a person's spinal cord
and fluid that surrounds the brain. Meningitis bacteria are spread through
droplets from the nose and throat. None of the bacteria that cause
meningitis are as contagious as illnesses like the common cold or the flu,
and they are not spread by casual contact, according to the Center for
Bacterial meningitis can cause brain damage, hearing loss,
learning disability and, in severe cases, death. Signs of meningitis
include high fever, headache and stiff neck. Other symptoms may include
nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion and
Nelson advises that anyone who experiences these symptoms should
seek medical attention immediately.
"We are focusing our efforts on people who have had close contact
with the afflicted student," said Nelson. "But, we are here to address any
concerns the Iowa State community may have regarding meningitis."
Information on meningitis is available at the Center for Disease
Control web site, http://www.cdc.gov.