Local News

UNC Meningitis Case Spurs Preventive Measures

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CHAPEL HILL — Health officials at UNC are encouraging members of Alpha Chi Omega sorority to take a one-dose preventive antibiotic against acute meningococcal meningitis.

That recommendation comes after a sorority member was diagnosed with the disease and hospitalized Saturday. Neither the university nor the hospital have released the student's name.

Students with questions about possible exposure should call Student Health Service at 966-2281.

Meningococcal meningitis causes inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. It is spread by contact with oral secretions, such as kissing, coughing, drinking after or sharing utensils with an infected person. Disease symptoms include fever, headache, a rash beginning on the hands or feet, and a stiff neck.

Several weeks ago, two teens in Vance and Henderson counties died of the disease. It is not unusual for single, isolated cases of the disease to be reported.