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Cougar Health Services Erin Carroll

Information Regarding Bacterial Meningitis

Medical professionals from Washington State University’s Cougar Health Services have received inquiries regarding reports of a case of meningitis on the WSU Pullman campus. There are many causes of meningitis, and although they are all serious, they are not all equally contagious. Please know that WSU does NOT have meningococcal meningitis on campus, which is the most dangerous form of meningitis for college students.

Cougar Health Services has been in contact with the Department of Health and have determined that there are no additional recommended preventive measures related to meningitis for campus members or close contacts of an ill student at this time. WSU campus members are not currently at increased risk for contracting meningitis.

As always, anyone with symptoms of illness or questions about their personal health should contact their healthcare provider for advice. Pullman students can contact Cougar Health Services at 509-335-3575 or schedule an appointment at https://cougarhealth.wsu.edu/appointments/

For more information about meningitis: https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/index.html

While meningococcal meningitis is not currently present on the WSU Pullman campus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do recommend that all adolescents receive a meningococcal immunization. Many WSU students have already received this vaccine. For more information: https://www.cdc.gov/meningococcal/vaccine-info.html

Information on Measles

Physician's white coat with stethoscope and pens in pocket.

Measles is a serious disease that causes a rash and fever. Measles is very contagious. It spreads when a person with measles breathes out, coughs, or sneezes. Anyone who is not vaccinated is much more likely to get measles if exposed. Measles can be dangerous, especially for young children. In rare cases, it can be deadly.

SYMPTOMS OF MEASLES AND HOW IT SPREADS
Measles often begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. After 3-5 days, a rash usually begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. You can catch measles from an infected person as early as 4 days before they have a rash and for up to 4 days after the rash appears. You can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been. The measles virus stays in the air for up to two hours after that person has left the room.

PROTECTION AGAINST MEASLES
The best protection against measles is immunization. WSU requires verification of measles immunity for all students born after December 31, 1956. See more about the measles immunization requirements here. 

CALL YOUR DOCTOR OR CLINIC RIGHT AWAY IF YOU SEE SYMPTOMS
Your doctor or clinic will let you know if you need to come in for visit. Measles is very contagious and you could give it to someone in a waiting room. It’s important to tell your doctor or clinic that you have symptoms of measles before you go. They will give you instructions for what to do so that you don’t spread measles.

WSU students with measles symptoms or concerns can call us 24 hours a day at 509-335-3575 to speak with a nurse.