Message From Dr. Rebecca Sawyer
February 7, 2013
Dear Notre Dame Community,
Today a student at neighboring Loyola University was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, and is hospitalized in serious but stable condition. Please join us in praying for this student's recovery.
After consulting the director of our student health center (shared with Loyola), as well as Loyola officials, we do not believe this situation poses a risk to the Notre Dame campus community. Bacterial meningitis is not considered to be highly communicable, but can be transmitted between people who have had very close contact (e.g., the sharing of drinking glasses).
Bacterial meningitis is an infection that is spread by direct, close contact with saliva, mucous, or droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person. It is not spread by breathing the air where someone with the disease has been. Symptoms include:
- High fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe headache
- Neck stiffness
- Skin rash of small, bright red spots or a larger, reddish/purple bruise
These symptoms can closely resemble those of the flu, and early diagnosis is extremely important. Those who suspect they could have meningitis are urged to seek medical care immediately for evaluation. The number for our Health Center is 410-617-5055. The center is staffed by board-certified nurse practitioners and physicians and is affiliated with Sinai Hospital, which provides medical coverage after hours.
For additional information about bacterial meningitis, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/bacterial.html.
Rebecca Sawyer, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Life