2nd Lehigh University student contracts meningitis

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - November 21, 2011

The two students diagnosed say they have never been in contact with each other, so it would seem they were infected by two different sources.

Both were also vaccinated against meningitis twice before showing up their freshman year.

School health officials say this kind of outbreak is unusual.

"It's rare. We actually haven't had a case here since 1999. This is the first time I'm aware that Lehigh has ever had more than one case at a time," said Dr. Susan Kitei, the university's Health Director.

Several students filled out consent forms to receive free preemptive antibiotics which the university started supplying after the second case was confirmed over the weekend.

As of Monday afternoon, more than 4,500 doses were distributed to a concerned student body.

"As it got more serious and the meningitis was confirmed, it was a little nerve racking," said Keith Schauder.

"I actually know someone who died of this a while ago so I've always been nervous about meningitis," said Temi Tope.

There are many symptoms linked to bacterial meningitis, the three most common include severe headaches, high fever, and a stiff neck.

If left untreated, it can likely result in death.

"It's not only potentially fatal but those people who do survive sometimes have major health complications, like the loss of their limbs," said Dr. Kitei.

Those students diagnosed are said to be recovering well.

Several other students suffering symptoms of meningitis are being evaluated, but as of now only two cases exist.

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