Bacterial Meningitis Update


On Sunday, February 25, a Smith College student was diagnosed with a bacterial meningitis infection. The student, who resides off campus, is hospitalized and receiving appropriate care. The college is working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to notify any individuals who were in close contact with the student. At this time, officials have not determined whether this case is related to the 2017 meningitis outbreak at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We are committed to providing the Smith community with prompt information and options for care if needed. More information will be sent via email and added to the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness website (https://www.smith.edu/health/) as soon as it is available, including updates on potential vaccination clinics once the DPH has identified the specific strain of meningitis. Information on bacterial meningitis is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/bacterial.html. Meningitis is not easily spread like the common cold or flu. Because it is spread through close contact, avoid sharing drinks, water bottles, makeup, lip-balm or smoking materials. Cover all coughs and sneezes, and wash your hands thoroughly. Students with immediate health concerns are advised to call the Schacht Center for Health and Wellness at 585-2250 (M-F, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or 585-1260 after hours/weekends.