The University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) University Health Services (UHS) reported a second case of bacterial meningitis that was diagnosed this weekend in a student who lives in a residence hall. This student is in stable condition in an area hospital.

 Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC
Gram-negative Neisseria meningitidis diplococcal bacteria/CDC

This follows a confirmed case Meningitis serogroup B infection from late October. The most recent case’s serotype is not yet determined.

UHS is reaching out to people who may have been in close contact with the student and have the most significant risk of infection. They are being provided safe and effective antibiotics that can reduce the possibility of infection.

UHS has expressed concern as these two students were not in close contact with each other.

The serogroup B strain is not covered by the meningitis vaccine required for college attendance, which does cover strains A, C, Y and W. Therefore, as a precaution, students may want to receive the Serogroup B vaccine, which is available at UHS by appointment.

UHS continues to advise the campus community to take health smart precautions. Don’t swap saliva. Avoid sharing food, drinks and personal items that contact saliva, including drinks from punch bowls. Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth— germs spread easily this way.