By Catholic Review Staff
A Loyola University Maryland undergraduate student has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and is currently in serious but stable condition at a local hospital.
The information was released Feb. 7 by Loyola University’s media relations manager, Nick Alexopulos.
According to a statement Alexopulos provided, the student visited Loyola’s student health center the afternoon of Feb. 6 and was subsequently transported to the emergency room. The student was diagnosed with the disease Feb. 7.
Alexopulos states, “There is no indication of a significant health risk to the broader community because bacterial meningitis is typically contracted through direct, close contact.”
He said Loyola health officials are evaluating the student’s roommates and other close contacts, and Loyola has informed its campus community of the case, the signs and symptoms of meningitis, and how to access health resources if needed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bacterial meningitis is usually severe and one of the risk factors is living in a community setting. The CDC says some bacteria can spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (e.g., kissing). The CDC website does state in bold: “Fortunately, most of the bacteria that cause meningitis are not as contagious as diseases like the common cold or the flu.”
Symptoms of baterial meningitis include sudden onset of fever, headache and stiff neck. It will often have other symptoms, such as
- Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- Altered mental status (confusion)
“The Loyola community’s thoughts and prayers are with the student and the student’s family and loved ones during this incredibly difficult time,” Alexopulos stated.
Feb. 7, 2013 CatholicReview.org