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Meningitis case puts CCSU on alert

NEW BRITAIN --  A student at Central Connecticut State University was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, according to school officials, and a spokesperson at the Connecticut Department of Public Heath said it was strain B.

School officials at CCSU said they were taking precautions and students who were in close contact with the infected student have been given medication.

“It’s making people not want to go to school,” said John Reyes, a sophomore student at CCSU. “Some of my friends are not going just because they’re scared of getting it.”

Despite that fear, a spokesperson for the university said it was not an outbreak. In an email to students, they notified them that only one student was diagnosed with meningitis.

“The three most common symptoms associated with meningitis are high fever, headache and altered mental status,” said Stacey Burns, a physician assistant at AFC Urgent Care in West Hartford.

Burns said the infection can be spread through fluids. Those most at risk include people living in very close contact with someone who was infected; these include roommates, family members or intimate partners.

“The biggest thing to do, in colleges especially, is to practice proper hand hygiene,” said Burns. “Make sure you’re covering your cough.”

Students said it was the talk of the campus.

“My teachers were talking about it so I assumed it was pretty serious,” said Sara Manuele, a first-year student.

“I didn’t really know exactly what dorm it was but then at the same time, I have classes with these people, said Sherry Acosta, a first-year student.

While there is a vaccine available for this particular strain of meningitis, it is not yet required for college students, according to the health department.

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