Antibiotics to be distributed in East Lansing due to bacterial meningitis case

Antibiotics to be distributed in East Lansing due to bacterial meningitis case
Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 10:32 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Ingham County Health Department is warning residents of a potential bacterial meningitis exposure.

Authorities said it was a student -- who does not attend Michigan State University -- came down with the infection after he attended a party near Michigan State University’s campus.

Read: Meningitis case in East Lansing prompts health department to seek frat party attendees

Bacterial meningitis -- a virus that can have dangerous effects -- has been detected in a person that attended a Jan. 22 party hosted by Sigma Beta Rho at Club Rush, the lower level of Harper’s Bar.

University physician Dr. David Weispantel said the school is working with the health department to contact people they believe were at the event.

“Overall, it’s a minimal risk to the general public, and those actually interacting in social ways, typically,” Weispantel said. “But through an abundance of caution and an uncertain of all the interactions through that night, we have gone about notifying the community.”

The Ingham County Health Department is recommending residents get an antibiotic treatment if they attended the party at Harper’s Club Rush.

“We have gone about notifying the community, and those that were at that event too out of an abundance of caution, to make sure that they have the opportunity to be offered prophylactic antibiotic to prevent any chance of meningitis,” Weispantel said.

Michigan State University will be handing out the antibiotic for two days, free of cost. Weispantel said a similar situation happened in 1999 and -- because of the antibiotics -- spread of meningitis was prevented.

“Absolutely that worked that time,” Weismantel said.

Antibiotics will be distributed at MSU Room on the third floor of the MSU Union Building Friday and Saturday from 1-5 p.m.

If close contacts are unable to attend the distribution clinics, they should contact their healthcare provider to receive prophylaxis against meningococcal meningitis. If an individual does not have a health care provider, they can call the Ingham County Health Department at 517-887-4308 (after hours call 517-342-9987) to discuss how to be prescribed treatment.

Guidelines regarding vaccination against meningococcal disease are available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s official website here. Individuals can call their healthcare provider or the ICHD Immunization clinic at 517-887-4316.

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