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Case of bacterial meningitis reported at American University

WASHINGTON — A graduate student has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, American University said in a statement Tuesday. 

The school, located in Northwest D.C., was notified by the D.C. Department of Health about the case. There are several types of bacteria that can cause this infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it can be deadly.

While casual contact is of low risk, people who have had close contact with the affected student may need to get medication. Symptoms can develop around two to 10 days after exposure to the affected person and can include, according to the city’s Department of Health:

  • Confusion, sleepiness
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • headache
  • stiffness in neck, shoulder and/or back

The university said the DOH has already identified and treated all close contacts. The student has also been contacted.


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