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Suspected case of meningococcal disease discovered on Miami’s Oxford campus

Miami University announced a suspected case of meningococcal disease on its Oxford campus.
Miami University announced a suspected case of meningococcal disease on its Oxford campus.

The Butler County Health District is investigating a suspected case of meningococcal disease reported on Miami University’s Oxford campus.

In a press release from the health department on Feb. 22, the health district said it was currently identifying anyone in close contact with the infected individual and providing them with prescriptions for antibiotics. In an email sent from University Communications and Marketing (UCM) the same day, the university confirmed that individuals who do not hear from the health district can assume they were not in close contact with the individual.

The health district did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

There are two common types of the meningococcal disease, which include meningitis and septicemia. The press release did not confirm which one the suspected case was.

According to the press release, meningitis is a disease “where the lining of the brain/spinal cord becomes infected and swells.” Symptoms include: “fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and confusion.”

Septicemia is “where the bacteria enters the bloodstream, damages blood vessels and causes bleeding.” Symptoms include “fever, chills, feeling tired, vomiting, diarrhea, cold hands/feet, severe body aches, rapid breathing and a dark purple rash.” Both types of meningococcal bacteria spread through saliva or spit.

The health district is urging anyone with these symptoms to seek immediate medical attention as the disease can be deadly.

There are two vaccines that help prevent the infection of the disease, which include MenACWY and MenB. Most students receive their first dose of the MenACWY vaccine at age 11 or 12 and a booster at 16. Students can get the MenB vaccine between the ages of 16 and 23. Miami only requires students living on campus to get the MenACWY vaccine; however, some students do have approved exemptions.

Anyone with any additional questions or concerns should call the health district at 513-863-1770. UCM said Miami’s Health Services does not have additional information about the specific case but can provide medical care to sick students. To schedule an appointment with Miami’s Health Services, students can call 513-529-3000.

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