Shippensburg student may have meningitis

May 18, 2008

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. -- Shippensburg University announced Saturday that one of its students has been hospitalized for treatment of a suspected case of bacterial meningitis.

The student was admitted to the hospital Saturday after going to an emergency room with symptoms associated with meningitis, according to a university statement.

The student, Amanda Staub, was in intensive care at a hospital in the region on Saturday afternoon, said Peter M. Gigliotti, the university's executive director for communications and marketing.

Staub, a graduate student, had attended a campus ministry program Thursday along with about a dozen other people, but had minimal contact with members of the campus community before becoming ill, the statement read.


"We think we have contacted everyone by phone or in person who had contact with her in the last three days," Gigliotti said. Contact with people on campus would have been limited since commencement happened May 10, he said.

Gigliotti said he believed Staub lives off-campus.

The university is advising members of the campus community who might have had contact with her to go to the Etter Health Center for a screening and, if appropriate, preventive medication. Those who think they might be at risk, but presently are not in the Shippensburg area, should contact a family physician or go to their local emergency room, the statement read.

Meningitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the tissue lining the brain and spinal cord. The organism that causes the disease is present, but dormant, in 5 percent to 10 percent of the population, but can flare up when a person's resistance is compromised due to a cold, the flu or other factors.

The disease can be contagious, but is spread only through close personal contact, not by casual contact or simply being in the same room with an infected person, according to the university statement. It can be spread through sneezing or coughing and by sharing drinking or eating utensils, the statement read.

Information about the disease is available on the Web sites of the Centers for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Department of Health, or by calling the Etter Health Center at 717-477-1458.

-- Don Aines

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