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Meningitis outbreak declared at Princeton University

Seventh case of invasive meningococcal disease reported on campus.
Posted By Ananth Baliga   |   Nov. 11, 2013 at 9:31 AM   |   Comments

(UPI) -- New Jersey state health officials have declared a meningitis outbreak on the Princeton University campus.

The New Jersey Department of Health has confirmed six cases of meningitis and are investigating a seventh case that came to their notice Sunday. The most recent case is a male student who has been hospitalized and is under observation.

The first case was a female student who developed symptoms of meningococcal disease on March 22. This student has recovered. Following that the campus has seen a case almost every month.

All six previous cases have been linked to serogroup (type) B, and lab results are awaited for the seventh case.

The infection is also commonly known as invasive meningococcal disease. This form of meningitis does not have a vaccine and those vaccinated against bacterial meningitis are also susceptible to this outbreak.

Symptoms include fever, headache, body aches and feeling very tired or sleepy.

The disease is spread through human contact. The bacteria is housed in the throat and authorities have advised students to refrain from coughing and kissing. While anybody can get meningitis, adolescents and freshmen are at an increased risk.

The health department has not advised the cancelling of any events or activities on campus or travel to Princeton at this time.

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