The Silliman freshman who was treated last month for meningitis has been re-hospitalized in another state for a possible recurrence of the infection, according to a Friday afternoon email from Director of Yale Health Paul Genecin to the Yale community.
The female student, who was first admitted to Yale-New Haven hospital on Feb. 14 with suspected bacterial meningitis, was confirmed two days later as having contracted the rare serogroup B strain. To prevent the spread of the disease, campus health officials provided antibiotics to individuals who had been in close or prolonged contact with the infected student. Additionally, because the meningitis vaccination required of Yale freshmen does not protect against the strain in question, Yale Health made a vaccine against this specific strain available to all members of the University community between the ages of 18 and 25. The student’s re-hospitalization comes in the wake of what Genecin described as her “steady recovery” prior to the spring recess.
In his email, Genecin said the student has been “quite ill” while out of state, but added that she also shows positive signs of improvement, and that he is hopeful of a full recovery. He noted that although the risk to the campus community remains low, campus, local and state officials are in the process of contacting and treating those who had extended contact with the infected student prior to the recess, which began on March 11.
Recurrences of the disease are rare, but can happen as a result of treatment received for the initial infection, Genecin wrote. The email reiterated that meningitis is not as contagious as the common cold or flu and that close, extended contact with an infected individual is the only way for someone healthy to contract the infection.
Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway shared Genecin’s message with parents of College students, encouraging them to consult the information about bacterial meningitis on the websites of Yale’s Office of Emergency Management and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Yale Health continues to operate a hotline, staffed by medical professionals, for those with questions about meningitis on Yale’s campus. The number of the hotline is 866-924-9253.