We wanted to make you aware that a female undergraduate Lehigh student who lives on campus is suspected of having a bacterial meningococcal infection. We are awaiting the results of medical tests, and she is currently being treated at St. Luke’s Hospital.
We have already contacted individuals who have been in close contact with the student in order to make them aware of the potential risk of exposure and provide them with prophylactic antibiotics. The ill student attended a party at Theta Chi on Tuesday, Nov. 15th. If you attended this event and drank out of a cup that may have been used by others, please come to the Health Center for consideration for preventative medicine. Students who have been in close contact to a person ill with meningococcal disease should take preventive antibiotics even if they have been vaccinated, as they may still be susceptible to the illness.
Please note that this disease 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 in the same classroom or eating in the same dining hall. Infectious disease experts do not recommend treatment for people with casual or random exposure.
Some common early symptoms of meningococcal 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 Lehigh University Health Center will be open until 10 p.m. this evening (Thursday, Nov. 17th) and again beginning 8:15 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 18th. Any students who need medical attention after the Health Center has closed should call Campus Police at 610-758-4200.
Additional information about the disease can be found on Lehigh's Health and Wellness Center website or on the website of the Centers for Disease Control. Questions can also be directed to the Health Center at 610-758-3870 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Susan C. Kitei, M.D.
Director, Health and Wellness Center