Two students student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick have been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis this month.
The second student, who was hospitalized on Feb. 23, is receiving treatment. Rutgers Student Health Services is coordinating its response with local, regional and state health officials. People who had close contact with the student are being notified so they can receive antibiotics as a preventative measure, school officials said.
Testing is being done to determine the specific type of meningococcal bacteria that caused the infection.
Earlier this month, a student was hospitalized with serogroup B meningococcal disease. Public health officials are conducting an investigation to determine if the cases might be linked.
The vaccine routinely given to protect against meningococcal disease protects against four serogroups – A, C, W, and Y. This vaccine does not provide protection against serogroup B meningococcal disease. There are currently two licensed vaccines that protect against serogroup B meningococcal disease.
School officials are encouraging members of the university community to pay increased attention to personal hygiene practices such as handwashing, covering of mouths when coughing, and avoiding sharing of drinks and utensils with others.
Members of the university community who experience symptoms or have health concerns should visit their health care providers. Students can visit Rutgers Student Health Centers during health center hours. Locations and hours can be found at health.rutgers.edu/locations.
In case of an emergency, call 911. Anyone with symptoms of meningococcal disease such as a rash, headache, stiff neck, or fever should get evaluated as soon as possible. While meningococcal disease is treatable with antibiotics, treatment must be started quickly.
More information about meningococcal disease is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.