Syracuse University reports a single case of meningitis

A Syracuse University student is diagnosed with meningitis

The campus community received an email from SU's medical director earlier today informing them of a student's bacterial meningitis diagnosis.
Published: October 1, 2018

A Syracuse University student has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, according to a campus-wide email sent on Monday by SU Medical Director Karen Nardella. On Friday, Nardella sent an update specifying the diagnosis as Meningitis B. The student is no longer on campus and has been moved to a hospital near their hometown, per the email.


All those living in close proximity to the infected student have been notified and given antibiotics, following public health protocols. The email said that those with the most exposure to the infected student have already been notified.


Meningitis is the swelling of the membranes that guard the brain and spinal cord. It occurs when the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord are infected, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Common symptoms include nausea, stiff neck, fever, sensitivity to light and confusion, per the CDC.


Meningitis is spread by exchanging saliva or spit, or by coughing and it takes close contact or long periods of exposure for the bacteria to spread. Nardella said in the email that symptoms on meningitis can appear three to seven days after exposure and if treated with antibiotics right away, most people recover in seven to ten days.


According to the CDC, teenagers and babies are most at risk for contracting bacterial meningitis. In 2016, the CDC recorded approximately 370 cases of meningococcal diseases.


The University is in contact with the Onondaga County Health Department and the New York Department of Health to keep the campus updated. This comes after last fall’s mumps outbreak, where there were 54 confirmed cases and 91 probable cases of the mumps, according to SU’s Health Services website.