Updated Fri, Oct 4, 2013 10:25 am
Life on the Ohio Christian University campus is business as usual after two students were diagnosed this week with viral meningitis.
A memo distributed Wednesday informed faculty, staff and students of the issue, emphasizing the cases were viral and not the more serious bacterial form of meningitis.
Dr. Hank Kelly, OCU provost, said university officials received confirmation of the diagnosis Tuesday, and the affected students are currently recovering at home.
The campus-wide memo detailed symptoms and preventative steps to avoid contracting the disease.
Both forms of meningitis are required to be reported to local public health officials by the end of the business day following the diagnosis, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Danny Miller, infectious disease nurse at the Pickaway County Health Department, said he had not yet received notification of the two confirmed cases as of Thursday afternoon.
“That’s not necessarily uncommon,” Miller said. “Sometimes people aren’t familiar with exactly what the requirements are, so it can take a few days longer.”
Miller said notification typically comes from the attending doctor, hospital or institution.
Miller said while viral meningitis is contagious and can be very serious, it is not considered as severe as its often-deadly bacterial counterpart.
“The symptoms are very similar, but it’s an entirely different animal,” Miller said. “People with normal immune systems usually experience a complete recovery.”
He said it is not unusual to see several cases arise simultaneously in areas of dense population, including schools and hospitals.
Viral meningitis is serious but rarely fatal in people with normal immune systems, according to ODH. Symptoms, including fever, severe headache, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, drowsiness or confusion, nausea and vomiting, typically last from seven to 10 days.