Important Health Announcement
Update: The Reed student diagnosed with and treated for meningitis is doing well and has been released from the hospital. A full recovery is anticipated.
We await final confirmation, but this does not appear to have been the kind of serious bacterial meningitis that requires public health intervention. At the present time, no specific prevention or treatment interventions are recommended. Additionally, we have verified with the experts at Multnomah County Health Division, there are no additional precautions or interventions for immune suppressed individuals. We will of course provide updates as relevant information becomes available.
We do appreciate everyone's cooperation while we worked through the fluid health situation to ensure all steps were being taken to protect the health and safety of our community
The health and safety of our community is of utmost importance. If you have medical concerns at any time, we encourage you to seek medical attention. During business hours (Mon-Fri, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.), students should go to the HCC; after hours call Community Careline 800/607-5501, or go to the nearest emergency department. Hospital contact information.
Staff and faculty should contact their medical providers or go to the nearest emergency department.
Signs and Symptoms of Meningitis
Meningitis infection may present with a sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. It will often have other symptoms, such as:
- Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia), and
- Altered mental status (confusion).
If you have additional questions, please refer to the CDC website.
Below are answers to questions we have received from the campus community related to the health announcement distributed yesterday about the Reed student currently being treated in a Portland hospital for meningitis.
WHAT FORM OF MENINGITIS IS IT? BACTERIAL OR VIRAL?
The specific cause is not yet known. The laboratory has not confirmed which type of meningitis the student has contracted. Certain types would require the student’s contacts to receive preventive antibiotics. If this type of bacterial meningitis is confirmed, information will be shared with the campus community when available.
WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE STUDENT?
We appreciate your concern and understand your interest in knowing as much as possible. Sharing the student's name without their permission would represent a violation of privacy laws.
WHAT AREAS ON CAMPUS COULD BE INFECTED?
Meningitis is not generally spread through the environment so there is no concern about particular places on campus. At this time, there are no environmental treatments or interventions that are recommended.
WILL THE HEALTH CENTER BE CALLING ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN IN CONTACT WITH THE INFECTED STUDENT?
We are working very closely with the MCHD and hospital staff regarding next steps for the Reed community. At the present time, no specific prevention or treatment interventions for the environment or for individuals are recommended. Should that change, we will work with Multnomah County Health Department officials to contact individuals as appropriate.
IS THERE A VACCINE FOR MENINGITIS?
There is a vaccine that helps protect against certain types of bacterial meningitis. It is recommended routinely for adolescents age 11-18 and for college freshmen living in dormitories. For more information on the meningococcal vaccine, contact your personal health care provider.
WHEN WILL THE NEXT UPDATE TO THE CAMPUS BE?
If there is any further information from our health professionals and/or MCHD, we will disseminate that information to the campus community via email and post on this website.