(October 17, 2018)
A student who attends the New England Conservatory was recently diagnosed with suspected viral meningitis. This infection does NOT pose a public health risk and antibiotics are NOT recommended for students or faculty who may have come in contact with the infected individual.
Our first priority is to maintain the health and safety of the NEC Community. We will work closely with the Department of Public Health and provide updated information as needed. Please click on the Centers for Disease Control’s website (a reliable and up to date resource) at http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/viral.html, which will provide an explanation of the illness, possible symptoms, and what to do should you develop symptoms.
The symptoms of meningitis include fever, stiff neck, headache, lethargy and confusion, and sometimes a skin rash. Anyone with these symptoms should call his/her health care provider promptly so that s/he can be evaluated.
There are no vaccines to protect against non-polio enteroviruses, which are the most common cause of viral meningitis. You can take the following steps to help lower your chances of getting infected with non-polio enteroviruses or spreading them to other people:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after changing diapers, using the toilet, or coughing or blowing your nose.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact such as kissing, hugging, or sharing cups or eating utensils with people who are sick.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your upper shirt sleeve, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys and doorknobs, especially if someone is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Some vaccinations can protect against diseases such as measles, mumps, chickenpox, and influenza that can lead to viral meningitis. Make sure you and your child are vaccinated on schedule.
- Avoid bites from mosquitoes and other insects that carry diseases that can infect humans.
- Control mice and rats. If you have a rodent in and/or around your home, follow the cleaning and control precautions listed on CDC’s website about
Please contact the NEC Health and Counseling Center should you have any questions or concerns at 617-585-1284. If you develop these symptoms after hours then you should seek care at the nearest hospital emergency department.