(Updated 11/20 at 2:15 p.m.) As a precaution, the university is providing antibiotics (one dose of the pill Cipro taken orally or an alternative, also taken orally) today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Lamberton Hall. We will stay open later if there is need.
This preventive treatment is recommended for all students, even those who have been vaccinated against meningitis, as they may still be susceptible to the illness. There is no shortage of medication, but we are requesting that students do not delay. (There is no cost for the antibiotic.)
Students are asked, if they are able, to fill out the consent form before they come to Lamberton. Medical staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice.
A second Lehigh student is suspected, but not confirmed, to have meningococcal meningitis. The student, a freshman male, is currently being treated at St. Luke's Hospital.
Meningitis is typically spread only through close contact such as shared saliva, or prolonged contact with a person who is infected. It is not spread through casual contact such as being present in the same classroom or eating in the same dining hall.
Students who are at home should seek advice from their family doctor or go to a medical center to make them aware of the situation and receive a preventive treatment for meningococcal meningitis, a type of bacterial meningitis.
Approximately 150 students received antibiotics last week after the first case of meningitis was suspected. Those students should also come to Lamberton today. Medical staff will be on hand to answer questions and provide advice.
Some common early symptoms of bacterial meningitis include fever, severe sudden headache, lethargy, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting and rash. It is extremely important to seek medical attention if you do have these symptoms.
The antibiotic is also available faculty or staff who have concerns about contact with an ill student. Any updates to this will be posted on the university web page,www.lehigh.edu, as we have them.
Additional information about the disease can be found at www.lehigh.edu/health or on the website of the Centers for Disease Control.
Susan C. Kitei, M.D.
Director, Health and Wellness Center
Posted on Sunday, November 20, 2011