NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) - Central Connecticut State University is taking precautions after learning of a case of meningitis.
University President Zulma R. Toro wrote to the CCSU community to inform them of the steps the school is taking.
"Late [Sunday], we shared information with you about one of our students who recently became seriously ill and, as a safety precaution, has been receiving treatment for a suspected case of bacterial meningitis," Toro said.
On Monday, the state's Dept. of Public Health confirmed the exact strain as Meningococcal Meningitis Type B.
“When we talk about meningitis it usually presents with fever, a very bad headache, it can progress to seizures and even a coma in some cases," said Dr. Virginia Bieluch, chief of Infectious Diseases at the Hospital of Central Connecticut.
She said while symptoms of meningitis are similar to that of the flu, it doesn't spread quite so easily.
"This bacteria is spread by close personal contact such as kissing or coughing right on a person it doesn’t exist outside the human body for a very long period of time," Bieluch said.
With vaccines available, it's a rare disease in the U.S.
The last case in Connecticut was in 2016.
The meningococcal vaccine that many college students receive protects them against four of the five types.
Students spoke with Channel 3 about the presence of the bacteria and their reactions.
“I saw an alert and it said a student was possibly diagnosed with meningitis and I was like no way," said CCSU Freshman, Sihame Abora-Diallo.
The vaccine that includes this particular type is available but is not yet required for college students.
“It’s a little concerning. We were all, my friends in the group chat, we talked about it and we were not like comfortable and then I heard about the severity of meningitis and I was like 'that’s kind of weird how it’s around here,'" said CCSU Freshman, Trinitee Williams.
"The Connecticut State Department of Health emphasizes that this is a singular case and is not an outbreak," Toro said. "Casual contact does not transmit bacterial meningitis. The infection is only spread by close, person-to-person contact. Therefore, we have been in touch with all students who have had very close, personal contact with the ill student, and they have been given preventative treatment."
She said her staff informed the entire campus.
She also directed anyone looking for information about meningitis to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website here.
"Although this is concerning news, we assure you that the University is working with health experts to ensure the safety of our campus community and are confident we have reached out to anyone who might be at risk for contracting the infection," Toro said.