Connecticut state health officials are reporting a confirmed meningococcal meningitis case in a Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT student.

Meningitis symptoms/Public domain image/Mikael Häggström
Meningitis symptoms/Public domain image/Mikael Häggström

“We are working with CCSU officials and local health departments to investigate what thus far is a single case of meningitis in a CCSU student and to ensure that people who have come into close contact with the patient receive antibiotics as a precautionary measure, said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Raul Pino.

“Our State Laboratory today confirmed that the student was infected with meningococcal meningitis, serogroup B.”

Dr Pino continued, “This type of bacterial meningitis is not easily transmittable from person to person – it requires close contact over a period of time.  Simply being on the same college campus or being in the same classroom as an infected individual does not increase the chances of becoming infected.  Individuals who have come into close contact with this student either have been or will be contacted by CCSU or local health officials for appropriate follow up.

Bacterial meningitis and vaccinations: A discussion with Dr. Leonard Friedland

“With vaccines now available to prevent meningococcal meningitis, this disease is now rare in the United States.  The last case of this disease involving a college-aged student in Connecticut occurred in 2016.  The meningococcal vaccine that many college students have received provides protection against four of the five types of the bacteria that cause meningococcal disease (serogroups A, C, W, and Y).  A relatively new meningococcal vaccine that provides protection against the fifth type of the bacteria, serogroup B, the strain involved in this particular case, is now available and may have been received by some college students.  This particular vaccine is recommended, but it is not yet required for college students.”