West Virginia University officials confirmed today (May 9) that one of its students has been diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

An 18-year-old male student living in Summit Hall reported the symptoms Friday and was diagnosed with the condition over the weekend. He is being treated in his hometown in Pennsylvania.

Health officials are in the process of aggressively contacting students and others who may have come in close contact with this young man either through the residence hall or his fraternity, Phi Kappa Psi, so that these individuals can be screened and/or treated appropriately,”said Jan Palmer, director of Student Health.

Palmer noted that most University students left town late last week at the conclusion of the spring semester.

Initial treatment for meningitis is antibiotics, routinely rifampin or cipro, he added.

Meningitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the three thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord.

There are two types: bacterial and viral.

Viral meningitis is usually less severe and is usually treated with bed rest or over the counter medications.

Bacterial meningitis is more severe. Some symptoms include fever, neck and back pain, headache, confusion, sensitivity to light, seizures and nausea.

Students living in Summit Hall and members of the fraternity are asked to contact 304-293-2311 ext. 3 and speak to a nurse.

The case has been reported to the Monongalia County Health Department and state Health Department; appropriate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines are being followed.

This is the first reported case of bacterial meningitis at WVU in Palmers nearly 25 years at the institution, he said.

Meningitis vaccines are routinely offered through WVU s Student Health Service for a fee of $125. Also, the next immunization clinic is set for Oct. 12 at WVU s Student Recreation Center.