University student contracted meningitis

By Daily Illini Staff Report

A female University student was hospialized on Wednesday with an infection later confirmed to be meningococcal meningitis, said Robert D. Palinkas, director of McKinley Health Center.

“At this point, we don’t think there is any reason for alarm,” Palinkas said in the press release. “We are confident that all the necessary measures have been taken to protect those that have had contact and we await further confirmation before we consider any other measures.”

Anyone who may have had contact with the student has received antibiotics, Palinkas said.

Palinkas said there are five strains that cause meningitis, and the vaccination they provide protects four out of the five strains.

“It is not uncommon that we see meningococcas, even in a person that is immunized.” Palinkas said. “The vaccine is not 100 percent effective.”

McKinley Health Center has antibiotics that are 100 percent effective if used when there are no symptoms, which include high fever, stiff neck and headache. Students who demonstrate any of those symptoms should seek medical attention immediately, campus officials said.

Brittany Abeijon, Michael Logli and Pamela Nisivaco contributed to this report

The student’s hospitalization has no connection to the death of Rob Davis in Joliet, another University student.