ODU student being treated for bacterial meningitis contracted on spring break

NORFOLK, Va. - An Old Dominion University student has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, according to a university news release.

The release said the student was diagnosed while out of town on spring break and is receiving treatment.

The Virginia Department of Health also notified five other individuals that had contact with the student so they can begin treatment that prevents the infection from developing.

Robert Dunker, Old Dominion Medical Director of Student Health Services released a statement saying “Although there is no danger to the Old Dominion community, as a result of this situation, the university’s student health services medical team is following all health and safety protocols and will continue to work with the Va. Dept. of Health.”

Bacterial meningitis is is the inflammation of the brain and spinal cord membranes.

The swelling is usually caused by an infection. Meningitis is usually caused by a viral infection but in some cases can also be bacterial or fungal.

The CDC said bacterial meningitis is very serious and can be deadly.

Death from the illness can happen in a little as a few hours.

Although most people recover from bacterial meningitis, the CDC said it can cause permanent disabilities such as brain damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities.

The CDC lists the types of bacteria in the U.S. that can cause meningitis:

  • Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • Group B Streptococcus
  • Neisseria meningitidis
  • Haemophilus influenzae
  • Listeria monocytogenes

Germs that cause bacterial meningitis spread from one person to another. Certain germs, such as Listeria monocytogenes, can spread through food, according to the CDC.