A Humboldt State University student who was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis on Tuesday is improving but remains in critical condition at a Redding hospital. Results of testing for the specific type of bacteria are not expected until Monday, and for now the case is being treated as meningococcal disease until proven otherwise.

Neisseria meningitidis  Image/CDC
Neisseria meningitidis

The University has received no reports of additional cases.

Since Wednesday, campus staff have reached out directly by phone to about 250 students who, like the sick student, live in Sunset Residence Hall and are considered the highest potential risk. Also directly contacted were a number of other staff and faculty who may have been in close contact with the student. They were all advised to be treated as soon as possible with the antibiotic Cipro.

The prescription for Cipro can be obtained from any health care provider, including family doctors, local clinics, and urgent care. Students can also request a prescription from the Student Health Center by emailing their name, date of birth, HSU ID number, any allergies, and pharmacy information to [email protected].

In addition to the calls to individuals, the campus sent a message through its text alert system, which reaches about one-quarter of students, as well as a message to all campus emails. Updated information continues to be posted on the campus homepage at www.humboldt.edu.

The student was treated at Mad River Community Hospital on Tuesday after University Housing staff found him sick in his room. They contacted campus police, and the student was transported by ambulance for treatment.

Later that evening, the student was transported to Redding for further testing and treatment, and he remains hospitalized there.

Bacterial meningitis is much less contagious than the flu or common cold, and is not blood borne. Symptoms include headache, nausea, sensitivity to light, and altered mental status. The specific bacteria in this case has not yet been identified.

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