Second UMass student diagnosed with meningitis - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Second UMass student diagnosed with meningitis

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

A second student at UMass Amherst has been diagnosed with meningitis.

Dr. George Corey, executive director of the university's health services, said in a letter to the campus community that that case was diagnosed over the weekend in a student who lives in residence hall.

The serotype of that second case has not yet been determined and the student is reportedly in stable condition at an area hospital.

Officials with University Health Services said that they would be reaching out to those who may have had close contact with the student and who may have the most significant risk of infection.

"They are being provided safe and effective antibiotics that can reduce the possibility of infection," the letter indicated.

It is now the second case of meningitis to hit the UMass campus in the last two months.

On October 24, a student was diagnosed and that case has been confirmed as a serotype B infection.  That student is in stable conditio.

UMass noted that that strain - serotype B - is not covered by the vaccine that is required from college - which covers strains A, C, Y. and W.

"Because these two students were not in close contact with each other, these two cases raise our level of concern. UHS is working in consultation with federal and state public health officials, and will be updating advice as more information becomes available," Corey explained.

The bacteria can come in two forms.  Meningitis is an infection in the brain, which is suspected in the most recent student's case.  

Meningicoximia is an infection in the blood, which was the type the first student contracted last month.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Feeling flu-like
  • Headache 
  • Neck pain/trouble moving neck
  • Blotchy red rashes 

If anyone encounters these symptoms, you are urged to see a doctor immediately.

Corey noted as a precaution, students may want to receive a serogroup B vaccine, which is available at UMass health services by appointment or may be available from one's health care provider during the Thanksgiving break.  A nearby facility offering that serogroup B vaccine can also be found by CLICKING HERE.

Those members of the UMass community who may have concerns or questions can contact the triage nurse at University Health Services at (413) 577-5299.

More information on bacterial meningitis can be found through the state's Department of Public Health by CLICKING HERE.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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