Oakland County college student has suspected case of bacterial meningitis

Oakland County Health Division awaiting test results to confirm college student has meningococcal meningitis

Published On: May 10 2012 04:30:52 PM EDT
DETROIT -

An Oakland County woman who just returned from college in the Chicago area has a suspected case of bacterial meningitis.

The Oakland County Health Division said the woman is in a metro Detroit area hospital with presumptive meningococcal meningitis.

She started getting sick right before she returned home from school.

The health department said anyone who came in close contact with her has been treated with prophylasix antibiotics.

By close contact, those who should be concerned are those who could have been exposed to saliva. For example, someone who shared a drinking glass, a cigarette or kiss.

Symptoms of meningococcal meningitis include fever, chills, headache, vomiting, prostration and petechial rash.

Any suspected cases should be reported to the Communicable Disease Unit of the Oakland County Health Division at 248-858-1286.

Dr. Pamela Hackert from the Oakland County Health Division said college age is the target group they're concerned about when it comes to meningitis. She said they recommend students get a booster vaccine for meningitis before starting college.

This case follows another, separate case involving a Central Michigan University student from Livonia.

CMU student reportedly has meningitis

Central Michigan University said in a news release Wednesday that a student tested positive for meningococcal meningitis.

The university said the Wayne County Health Department notified the school that Nicholas Collins, of Livonia, had the illness.

Collins lived in Trout Hall at CMU's main campus. The school is asking anyone who has had close contact with Collins to contact the Wayne County Health Department at 734-727-7078. Central Michigan's Health Services can be contacted at 989-774-6577.

Collins was considered contagious between April 30 and May 7. He moved out of Trout Hall on May 3. The university said oral secretion contact will put people at risk.

The Wayne County Health Department is leading the investigation. The department said Collins is 19 years old and is hospitalized with "suspected" meningococcal meningitis.

Test results are pending confirmation and will not be available for two to five days, the Health Department said.

The Health Department offered this information on meningococcal meningitis:

Meningococcal meningitis is caused by Neisseria menigitidis and has been associated with outbreaks on college campuses. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, vomiting, prostration and petechial rash. Severe cases may result in shock, coma, or even death. Oral contact with shared items such as cigarettes or drinking glasses or through intimate contact such as kissing could put a person at risk for acquiring the infection.

If individuals display these symptoms or varying degrees of such symptoms, they should seek medical attention immediately.

A vaccine is available that provides protection against most but not all serotypes of Neisseria meningitiis and is recommended for routine use. It is important to note that meningococcal vaccine should not be used in place of chemoprophylaxis (treatment) for those exposed to an infected person.