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Information on Bacterial Meningitis
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BACTERIAL MENINGITIS
This information is being provided to all new college students in the state of Texas. Bacterial Meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely fast-so take utmost caution. It is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The bacteria that causes meningitis can also infect the blood. The disease strikes about 3,000 Americans each year, including 100 - 125 on college campuses, leading to 5 - 15 deaths among college students every year. There is a treatment, but those who survive may develop severe health problems or disabilities.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
High fever, severe headache, rash or purple patches on skin, vomiting,
light sensitivity, stiff neck, confusion and sleepiness, nausea,
lethargy, and seizures.
HOW IS BACTERIAL MENINGITIS DIAGNOSED?
Diagnosis is made by a medical provider and is usually based on a combination of clinical symptoms and laboratory results from spinal fluid and blood tests. Early diagnosis can greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.
HOW IS THE DISEASE TRANSMITTED?
The disease is transmitted when people exchange saliva (such as by kissing, or by sharing drinking containers, utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, etc.) or come in contact with respiratory or throat secretions.
HOW DO YOU INCREASE YOUR RISK OF GETTING BACTERIAL MENINGITIS?
Exposure to saliva by sharing cigarettes, water bottles, eating utensils, food, kissing, etc. Living in close conditions (such as sharing a room/suite in a dorm or group home).
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF THE DISEASE?
Possible death (in 8 to 24 hours in some cases), permanent brain damage, kidney failure, learning disability, hearing loss, blindness, limb damage (fingers, toes, arms, legs) that requires amputation, gangrene, coma, and convulsions.
CAN THE DISEASE BE TREATED?
Antibiotic treatment , if received early, can save lives and chances of
recovery are increased. However, permanent disability or death can still
HOW CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION?
Contact your own health care provider.
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