Casa Italiana resident hospitalized with meningitis

Nov. 9, 2010, 2:00 a.m.

A resident in Casa Italiana has been hospitalized with a bacterial form of meningitis, according to residents and staff members of the Italian-themed Row house.

Ira Friedman, director of Vaden Health Center, spoke to the house’s residents last night regarding the isolated case, offering the option of receiving antibiotics as a precautionary measure against possible exposure. Staff members did not release the name of the infected student.

Jack Jorgensen ’12, financial manager at Casa Italiana, described the residents’ meeting with Friedman, calling the talk “an overview” of the situation.

“There really is nothing we have to do right now,” he said. “They offered, as they do with other cases of infected people…antibiotics to those who had close contact with the resident as a precautionary measure, but that was up to students to decide.”

Jorgensen went on to confirm that students did not express a desire to move out of the house in light of the situation.

According to the Center for Disease Control, “meningitis is a disease caused by the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.” The illness can develop due to viruses or bacteria, but only the bacterial form is treatable with antibiotics.

Fever, headache and a stiff neck characterize the onset of meningitis, later followed by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light or altered mental states. The bacterial form of the disease can be transferred through the air or by contact with infected throat secretions.

About 10 percent of those infected with meningitis die of the disease.

–Ryan Mac

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