AUBURN, Ala.- Shannon Cason, a doctor at Auburn University’s Medical Clinic says the university is actively searching for individuals who may have been in contact with the student who had Meningococcal Meningitis.
Cason, a physician at the school’s medical clinic for eight years says this is the first case of Bacterial Meningitis he has seen in his time at the school. Cason says this form of Meningitis is the most aggressive form, and it can rarely lead to death. He also says 10 to 15% of individuals that survive can have neurological damage.
Symptoms with Bacterial Meningitis develop rapidly and include: sever headache, significant pain when moving the head, sensitivity to light, high fever and a rash.
The doctor said it is harder to spread than a common cold. “Most of the time, bacterial meningitis requires fairly close physical contact or extended time spent together with the sick person,” Dr. Cason said. “Most of the students on campus are not at risk.” Cason added that receiving the Meningitis Vaccine and washing your hands are measures to take to prevent Meningitis. He says the vaccine should be given to kids at 11 to 12 and then a booster at 16.
Cason says it is important that people not panic. “If you have concerns, seek out medical care, but it’s important not to panic because spreading rumors and spreading fear makes the situation much worse,” Dr. Cason said.”
The university sent an email Tuesday night alerting the campus of the Meningitis. The student was taking two Liberal Arts classes, but not living in a residence hall, and he is in an out-of-town hospital being treated.