An Ohio University student who lives in James Hall was admitted to the hospital Tuesday for a probable case of bacterial meningitis.

The first-year student is recovering, according to a letter from Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones to students, faculty and staff.

Bacterial meningitis infects the linings of the brain and spinal chord, progresses quickly and can be fatal, according to the letter.

Though not as contagious as the flu or common cold, the disease transfers from person to person through saliva, for example, by kissing, touching or drinking from the same cup. It infects between 1,400 and 3,000 people a year. Between 100 and 125 of those cases occur on college campuses, according to the American College Health Association.

Symptoms include severe headache, stiff neck, fever, disorientation, lethargy, nausea and vomiting.

The disease cannot live longer than a few minutes outside a person’s body, and the custodial staff at James Hall deep cleaned the bathrooms and common areas of the residence hall as a precaution.

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