UW-Madison student hospitalized with meningitis

April 10, 2013

UW-Madison has confirmed that a student has been hospitalized with meningococcal disease. Additional details are not immediately available out of respect for the medical privacy of the student and the student's family.

Meningococcal disease is not highly contagious and there is no reason to believe that this case presents a health risk to the UW-Madison community, says Sarah Van Orman, M.D., University Health Services (UHS) executive director.

The bacteria are spread only through very close contact with an infected person's oral or nasal secretions, such as by sharing cups and utensils. Students who were in close contact with the student have been contacted and treated with antibiotics as a precaution. UHS is coordinating with officials from Public Health Madison-Dane County and will continue to closely monitor the situation.

Meningococcal disease most often causes meningitis, an inflammation of the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It's very rare, often comes on suddenly, and can progress rapidly. It's typically treated with antibiotics, however, even with the best medical care, it can be fatal.

Learn more information about meningococcal disease.

Students who are concerned or have questions about their health or are in need of counseling or support are encouraged to contact University Health Services (UHS) at 608-265-5600.