Meningitis confirmed in Elon student

Photo: WNCT

BURLINGTON, N.C. (WNCN) — A student at Elon University has a confirmed case of meningitis, the Alamance County Health Department said Tuesday.

Officials don’t yet know what caused the infection. So far, only one case has been identified.

Elon University Student Health Services is working to provide preventative treatment to “high risk contacts” to the case.

“We are working together with our University partners to treat those that may have had close contact with the individual who is sick and also provide awareness to the Elon University as well as the greater Alamance County community about the illness,” said Alamance County Health Director Stacie Saunders.

Meningitis can be caused by virus, bacteria or other factors and is an irritation of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include sudden fever, severe headache, rashes, stiff neck, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting.

“Some types of meningitis are spread by direct contact with oral secretions (saliva) such as shared eating utensils, foods, kissing, and sharing cigarettes,” the health department said in a news release. “Some people carry the organism in their nose and throat, but they do not become sick and do not cause cases of meningitis. Preventive antibiotic treatment is only recommended for individuals who might have had contact with the ill student’s saliva.”

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