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Loyola University Student Hospitalized With Bacterial Meningitis

The university said it does not believe the illness represents a health risk to "the broader community."

An undergraduate at Loyola University Maryland was diagnosed at an area hospital on Thursday with bacterial meningitis, and is in serious but stable condition, according to the school.

According to a news release, the student was treated at Loyola’s student health center Wednesday and was eventually taken to an emergency room. The university said the case provides no indication of a "significant health risk to the broader community."

"Loyola health officials are evaluating the student’s roommates and other close contacts, and Loyola has informed its campus community of the case, the signs and symptoms of meningitis, and how to access health resources if needed," the release reads.

According to the Center for Disease Control, meningitis is caused by several types of bacteria, and can cause brain damage, hearing loss and even death.

The government also recorded 4,100 cases of bacterial meningitis between 2003-2007 and  500 deaths in that same time span.

CDC risk factors:

Age

  • Infants are at higher risk for bacterial meningitis than people in other age groups. However, people of any age are at risk. See the table above for which pathogens more commonly affect which age groups.

Community setting

  • Infectious diseases tend to spread more quickly where larger groups of people gather together. College students living in dormitories and military personnel are at increased risk for meningococcal meningitis.

Cetrain Medical Conditions

  • There are certain diseases, medications, and surgical procedures that may weaken the immune system or increase risk of meningitis in other ways.

Working with meningitis-causing pathogens

  • Microbiologists who are routinely exposed to meningitis-causing pathogens are at increased risk.

Travel

  • Travelers to the meningitis belt in sub-Saharan Africa may be at risk for meningococcal meningitis, particularly during the dry season. Also at risk for meningococcal meningitis are travelers to Mecca during the annual Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage.

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