Second OSU student diagnosed with meningococcal disease

One confirmed case of meningitis at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- A second Oregon State University student has been diagnosed with meningococcal disease, the Benton County Health Department said Thursday.

The second student was admitted to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center on Wednesday and is in good condition, officials said.

“We understand that news of these students being diagnosed with meningococcal disease is very concerning for the families of these students, as well as our general student body and their families, and OSU faculty and staff. We know the general public is also concerned,” said OSU vice president of University Relations Steve Clark. “The safety and health of the OSU community is our top priority.”

The Benton County Health Department had announced Monday that an unidentified Oregon State undergraduate student was being treated at the hospital, possibly for meningococcal disease.

Health officials are investigating whether the cases are related.

The department said an additional 30 people have been given antibiotics as a precaution, up from an earlier figure of 130.

The second student lives in an OSU residence hall, while the first lives in a private residence.

Oregon State requires all incoming students under age 22 to be vaccinated for four strains of the disease, but not strain B, the health department said.

Last spring, the school was hit with a norovirus outbreak that took several weeks to contain.

"Since the disease is not easily spread from one person to another, health officials believe only a limited number of additional people will be identified as needing preventive treatment at this time," the health department said.

The health department said symptoms include "high fever, headache, stiff neck, exhaustion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Some people do not get meningitis, but they contract an infection of the bloodstream, which causes fever and a rash. This rash develops rapidly and usually appears on the armpits, groin and ankles, as well as in areas where elastic pressure is applied."

Oregon State University announced earlier this week that sophomore wide receiver Seth Collins was being treated at a hospital for an undisclosed ailment.

Benton County and school officials have been careful not to link Collins with the unnamed student, citing privacy issues. 

Coach Gary Andersen would not comment Monday on Collins' status because of privacy issues.
"We're going to support Seth and we're going to be there for him in any way we possibly can," Andersen said. "My thoughts and prayers are with him, just like the team."

Steve Clark, OSU vice president for university relations and marketing, told the Gazette Times that Collins started to experience discomfort upon returning to Oregon after the game at UCLA on Saturday.

Collins, the Beavers' former quarterback who switched to receiver this year, has caught 36 passes for 418 yards this season. He caught a pair of passes for 44 yards last weekend at UCLA. The Bruins won 38-24.

Collins started at quarterback in seven games last season, throwing for 936 yards and six touchdowns, but he missed four games because of a knee injury.

Andersen said he was even limited in what he could tell the team.

"They seem fine, but are their minds on Seth? Absolutely. He's a teammate," Andersen said. "It's not just a normal, 'Hey, I hurt my knee in practice.'"

KGW


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