A male student at West Chester University has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, according to the county health department.
People who have been in close contact with him are being given medication.
The sick student was also at a Temple University event over the weekend, so Chester county health officials put their Philadelphia counterparts on notice.
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Bacterial meningitis is contagious. Here's how it is spread according to the Centers for Disease Control:
The bacteria can mainly be spread from person to person through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions. This can occur through coughing, kissing, and sneezing. Fortunately, none of the bacteria that cause meningitis are as contagious as things like the common cold or the flu. Also, the bacteria are not spread by casual contact or by simply breathing the air where a person with meningitis has been.
People in the same household or daycare center, or anyone with direct contact with a patient's oral secretions (such as a boyfriend or girlfriend) would be considered at increased risk of getting the infection. People who qualify as close contacts of a person with meningitis caused by N. meningitidis should receive antibiotics to prevent them from getting the disease.
Signs and symptoms include high fever, headache and stiff neck. These symptoms can develop over several hours or a couple of days. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion and sleepiness according to the CDC.