Princeton University Student Has Bacterial Meningitis

A Princeton University student has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and is receiving treatment at a local hospital, the University announced this afternoon.

The student was taken to the hospital Monday night after experiencing symptoms of meningitis. Test results this morning confirmed that he had bacterial meningitis.

This is the second time a Princeton University student has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis in the last three months. In March, an 18-year-old student contracted bacterial meningitis, and in April a 17-year-old campus visitor was diagnosed with meningitis. Both recovered, and the cases appeared to be unrelated. 

Bacterial meningitis is contagious, but generally is transmitted through direct exchange of respiratory and throat secretions by close personal contact, such as coughing, sharing drinks, kissing and being in close proximity for an extended period. Once diagnosed, bacterial meningitis is treatable with common antibiotics. Signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis could include high fever, headache and stiff neck. These symptoms can develop over several hours, or they may take one to two days. State law requires all Princeton students living in dorms to have received the meningitis vaccine, which protects against most strains of the bacteria.

University representatives said the school  is coordinating its response with regional and state health officials, and those who had close contact with the student are being notified so they can receive any needed medical attention, officials said. The University is encouraging students and employees to pay increased attention to personal hygienic practices in light of the case.