meningitis alert

Colby-Sawyer College grieves the recent death of a University of New Hampshire college student from a bacterial meningitis infection. Health officials in New Hampshire have determined that a 21-year-old UNH college student died of bacterial meningitis on Jan. 3, 2007.

What is Meningitis?

Meningitis is an infection of the fluid surrounding a person's spinal cord and brain. Neisseria meningitides is one of the many bacteria that cause the disease.

The bacteria are spread through the exchange of respiratory and throat secretions through kissing and sharing utensils and cigarettes. Viruses can also cause meningitis.

Symptoms of Meningitis

Common symptoms of meningitis include high fever, intense headache and stiff neck. Early diagnosis and treatment are very important. If symptoms occur, the patient should seek medical attention immediately.

Prevention Strategies

Good prevention strategies include:

  • Practicing frequent hand washing
  • Avoiding exposure to respiratory and throat secretions by not sharing drinks, eating utensils, toothbrushes or cigarettes

  • Receiving the meningitis vaccine

Recommended Vaccine

Meningococcal Vaccines are highly recommended for students by Colby-Sawyer College and the American College Health Association. This vaccine is available through Baird Health and Counseling Center. Please call our office at (603) 526-3621 for more information.

For more information about meningitis, please see the following links:

To read about the meningitis threat in New Hampshire:

This information was provided by Jackie Webb, director of the Baird Health and Counseling Center. She can be contacted at (603) 526-3621 or