NAU Student Hospitalized With Suspected Meningitis

January 24, 2014

A 20-year-old Northern Arizona University student has been hospitalized with a suspected case of bacterial meningitis.

University officials are not releasing the name of the student who has been living on campus, but they say they have identified people who may have had close contact and that those people are receiving treatment with antibiotics, as a precaution.

Meningitis is an infection of the spinal cord fluid and the fluid that surrounds the brain. It causes inflammation of the protective membranes covering the spinal cord and brain. Symptoms of meningitis often resemble the flu.

Medical experts say it can only be spread from person-to-person by direct contact with the saliva of the infected person. That contact would most likely be in the form of kissing or the sharing of personal items, like drinking glasses, utensils, smoking materials and possibly the sharing of food.

Health officials in Coconino County are also monitoring the situation to prevent the spread of the disease.