Texas A&M University officials are distributing free antibiotics after a student tested positive for bacterial meningitis.
In a statement issued yesterday, Lt. Gen. Joe Weber, vice president for student affairs, said the student had been hospitalized.
“A Texas A&M student has been hospitalized after being diagnosed as having contracted bacterial meningitis. According to state and national health officials, bacterial meningitis is a serious, potentially deadly disease that can progress extremely fast,” Weber said in the statement. “This is the university’s only known active case at this time. The diagnosis has been confirmed by public health officials.”
The student’s name and condition are being withheld due to privacy laws, Weber said.
The university has notified classmates and is keeping them updated. Campus health officials are distributing free antibiotics without an appointment to students determined to be at risk.
Bacterial meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord and can be treated with antibiotics. Exposure to bacterial meningitis is through close personal contact with respiratory droplets.
Activities such as kissing or sharing a drink with an infected person pose a higher risk of infection, while indirect contact through coughing, sneezing or the spread of respiratory droplets onto surfaces that are touched by others and then brought to the nose or mouth pose a lower risk of infection.
Weber said the university has “an extensive protocol” for dealing with communicable diseases, and that protocol has been followed since the case was reported.