University President Zulma R. Toro confirmed that bacterial meningitis seriously sickened a student at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain yesterday (December 3). It has been identified as the B strain of meningitis, which is very rare.  The vaccine for type B is not required for college students.

According to the Hartford Courant, the university students who had been in close contact with the infected student were notified and advised to take antibiotics as a preventative measure.

Possible signs and symptoms of bacterial meningitis include headache with nausea or vomiting, stiff neck, sudden high fever, seizures, sleepiness, and confusion or difficulty concentrating.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that this is a serious condition that can be deadly.  Most people do recover, however permanent disabilities including brain damage can result from the infection.

The most common way that the germ is spread is through saliva including coughing, kissing, sneezing, and also by being in very close contact with the infected person.  It is typically not spread through casual contact.  Anyone who develops symptoms should contact their physician immediately.  CCSU Health Services is available to answer questions at 860-832-1939.

The last time that a college student contracted the disease in the state was two years ago.