OU student has bacterial meningitis

Tuesday, February 5th 2008, 12:01 pm
By: News 9


For the second time in six years, the University of Oklahoma is dealing with a case of meningitis on campus. But this time OU is in a much better position to respond.

OU students woke up Tuesday morning to learn a fellow student had been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

"I'm very happy to report that the young man is doing extremely well, is responding to treatment well," OU President David L. Boren said. "He seems to be totally out of danger, and we hope that he will be coming home from the hospital very soon."

Health officials traced the student's recent contacts from his fraternity house to other houses and to his fellow cast members in the upcoming Sooner Scandals.

"I'm not in a sorority or anything, so, but I mean who knows," student Ashley Cole said. "He could be in one of my classes."

About 100 people who have been in contact with the student have already been vaccinated at Goddard Health Center on campus. And vaccinations are available to any other student who wants one.

"I guess I'm concerned that I just don't want to get sick, so I'll probably get a vaccination," student William Purcell said.

Six years ago OU had another case of bacterial meningitis. And back then the OU Fieldhouse was transformed into an emergency vaccination center.

Almost 1300 students got vaccinated as a precaution. After that, OU began requiring all incoming students to have a meningitis shot.

"I got the vaccine back four years ago when I first came to OU when they told me I had to get it, so I'm not that concerned," student Victoria Williams said.

But for those who are concerned, the vaccinations will be available the rest of the week.

OU President David Boren released a statement Monday informing students and faculty.

People living in the same residential units as the student who tested positive are being notified and given medical treatment, Boren said.

OU students also may go to the Goddard Health Center on campus for precautionary treatment.

Bacterial meningitis is spread through close, personal contact, authorities said. Symptoms include fever, nausea, vomiting and a rash.