Wednesday , July 28 2021

Duke cases of bacterial meningitis are transmitted to students

A Duke student has been hospitalized with bacterial meningitis, and the university announced it hoped to reach those who had close contact with students.

Duke Student Health works with the Durham County Health Department to handle the situation, the university announced on the Duke Today website.

Close contact is defined as direct exposure to saliva or throat secretions, said Duke Today's announcement. Such contact can occur through sharing drinks, equipment or kisses, or with prolonged cough exposure, according to the announcement.

Students who may have made contact with infected students receive messages from university doctors who advise them that taking antibiotics will help "as a precautionary measure to further reduce the risk," said the Duke Today article.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say bacterial meningitis is very serious and can cause death or disability. On average, 4,100 cases and 500 deaths are reported annually in the United States between 2003 and 2007, according to one study on the CDC website, which also lists full symptoms and how various types of meningitis can spread.

Students with questions, including those who leave the campus for Thanksgiving, can contact Duke at 919-681-9355 or the Durham County Health Department at 919-560-7600.

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