Last night in an email addressed to students, faculty and staff, a message was sent from university administration about the confirmed diagnosis of a case of meningococcemia, a bloodstream infection that can also cause meningitis. The infected student lives off campus and is already receiving treatment, according to the email sent by Dr. Taylor Rushing, the director of M.S. Shook Student Health Services, and Jennifer Greene, the health director and CEO ofAppHealthCare.
“It is important to note: the individual diagnosed with the disease does not have meningitis, the person is being treated, and actions are in effect to minimize contact with this person,” the email said. “Close contacts of someone with meningococcal disease should receive antibiotics to help prevent them from getting the disease. At this time all known close contacts who require prophylaxis have been treated or are in process of receiving treatment.”
The North Carolina Division of Public Health has released dates, times and locations of three local businesses where there was a possibility of exposure. Those locations include The Boone Saloon on Aug. 22 from 11 p.m.–2 a.m., The Local on Aug. 23 from 11 p.m.–2 a.m. and Café Portofino on Aug. 25 from 11 p.m.–2 a.m.
Anyone who shared eating utensils, food, drink or kissed someone they do not normally have contact with at these businesses are asked to contact the AppHealthCare’s on-call nurse at 828-264-4995 extension 8 for help.
The email also urges those who show symptoms of meningococcal disease to seek medical attention immediately. Meningococcal disease symptoms are fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, photophobia and confusion. Anyone with questions concerning symptoms can contact Student Health Services at 828-262-3100.
Megan Hayes with App State University Communications said that at this time, all available information on the diagnosis has been shared.
“We will be sure to keep everyone informed as soon as we have additional information to share,” Hayes said.
Story by Anna Muckenfuss