Second UMass student diagnosed with meningitis

Students in stable condition

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – A second UMass student has been diagnosed with meningitis.

The student was diagnosed Sunday, about 3 weeks after the first UMass student came down with the disease. Both students were treated with antibiotics and were taken to the hospital.

“I’m not too nervous I’m a very sanitary person as long as you keep doing what you’re doing wash your hands and stuff,” said Nick Falcione, Sophomore at UMass Amherst.  “I don’t see an issue about it.”

Meningitis is an infection of the lining of the brain, which can be caused by both a virus or bacteria. Symptoms include fever, chills, and stiff neck. One in ten meningitis cases results in death.

Meningitis is a deadly disease, but you can prevent yourself from getting it. The university is offering vaccines to all students who have health insurance. UMass is trying to determine if there is a connection between the two cases.

“It’s not clear yet that there is a relationship between the first and second case. We are operating on the concern that there may be. We will learn that over the course of the next week,” said Dr. George Correy, Executive Director of UMass Health Services.

UMass students are being asked to avoid sharing personal items like water bottles, silverware and cigarettes. Dr. Correy told 22News meningitis mostly targets people between the ages of 16 and 24.

UMass student diagnosed with contagious illness; university taking precautions