Student diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, is recovering

Photo by Rebecca Rebholz/[email protected]

A Marquette student is recovering after being diagnosed and hospitalized with bacterial meningitis, according to an email to students, faculty and staff Friday.

University Medical Director Carolyn Smith sent the email as a public health alert.

The student is stable and recovering. This is an isolated case and no other cases have been identified,” Smith said in the email. “Marquette University Medical Clinic is working closely with the City of Milwaukee Health Department to initiate the appropriate follow-up communication with any students, faculty and staff who have had prolonged direct contact with the student. They will be contacted, and the Marquette University Medical Clinic will provide preventive medication (prophylaxis) as appropriate.”

The diagnosed student lives in a university residence hall. The name of the residence hall was not disclosed.

“The student’s roommate has been notified and received preventive treatment,” Smith said in the email. “It is important to note that living in the same residence hall does not put students at any greater risk as the disease is not spread by casual contact.”
Meningitis-causing bacteria are not as contagious as the common cold or flu, and can’t be spread by breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Instead, “meningitis is transmitted through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions (i.e., coughing, kissing),” the email said.
“Symptoms of bacterial meningitis are the sudden onset of a headache, fever, sore neck and nausea and/or vomiting,” Smith said in the email. “Any student having such symptoms should seek medical attention.”