UC Riverside employee diagnosed with bacterial meningitis

News headline from UC Riverside:

A staff member at UC Riverside was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis over the weekend. Due to privacy laws, UCR will not be releasing the name of the employee.

Meningitis: Signs, Symptoms, Risk Factors:
This disease is an inflammation in the protective lining around the brain and spinal cord, and is considered a medical emergency. 

The university is taking precautions to prevent the spread of the disease, which includes alerting the campus community to the situation; contacting and advising people whom public health officials believe are at risk; thoroughly cleaning the office areas affected; and working closely with the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

Symptoms of bacterial meningitis include a high fever, headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea and confusion. Anyone with those symptoms should contact a doctor immediately. The UCR Health Center is available to UC Riverside students. Faculty and staff should contact their own physicians as needed.

“Bacterial meningitis is not as contagious as the cold or the flu, but it is still wise to take precautions,” said UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox in a statement sent out to all students, staff and faculty members.

Dr. G. Richard Olds, an expert in contagious diseases and the dean of UCR’s School of Medicine, said just being in the same room as an infected person is not enough to spread the disease. It is transmitted through sharing saliva.

What can be done to prevent the spread of the disease?

Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub,
especially before eating.

Do not share utensils, water bottles or other items contaminated by another person.

Stay home when you are sick and avoid other people who are ill, if possible.

Avoid crowded, smoky settings, as smoke seems to make people more vulnerable.

Get a flu shot to stay well.

Filed under Headline, Inside

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

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