Diagnosis Confirmed; Student Expected to Fully Recover

Published 10.17.2005


Student Health Services was notified that the Pennsylvania College of Technology student who was diagnosed with meningitiswas to be released from the hospital Tuesday.

Lab tests and further medical evaluation confirmed that the student probably suffered from viral meningitis (the less serious form of the disease). Student Health Services is confident that the student will make a full recovery and return to classes as soon as possible.

Knowing whether meningitis is caused by a virus or bacteria is important because of differences in the seriousness of the illness and the treatment that is required.

Viral meningitis (also called aseptic meningitis) is usually relatively mild. It clears up within a week or two without specific treatment. Bacterial meningitis is more serious. It can cause severe disease that can result in brain damage or death.

While meningitis may be contagious, health-care professionals emphasize that those who have not had direct, personal contact with the affected person are not at risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, bacteria and viruses are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions: coughing, sneezing or kissing, for instance. Hand-washing is the most important defense against any virus or bacteria.

Meningitis symptoms are flu-like, including a fever over 101 degrees and a severe, sudden headache accompanied by neck or back stiffness. Any student suffering from similar symptoms should contact Student Health Services or his or her own health-care provider immediately.

To contact Student Health Services, call ext. 7224 or send e-mail . For emergencies that occur when the Student Health Services Office is closed, contact Penn College Police at (570) 327-4760.