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Health Advisory
February 17, 2009, Volume 55, No. 22

Three Penn students have been hospitalized with meningococcal infection. Meningococcal meningitis is a serious disease that affects children and young adults. A single case of this disease is not uncommon on a university campus. Approximately 10% of the general population carry meningococcal bacteria in the nose and throat in a harmless (carrier) state. This carrier state may last for days or months before disappearing spontaneously. On occasion, the bacteria become invasive, resulting in infection of the lining of the brain and spinal cord; when this happens, a person can become gravely ill.

Some common early symptoms of meningococcal meningitis include fever, severe headache, and sensitivity to bright light, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, rash and lethargy. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a physician immediately.

See www.vpul.upenn.edu/shs/meningitis_faq.php

Click here for updates from Student Health Services.

Almanac - February 17, 2009, Volume 55, No. 22