Staffer at University in Calif. Has Bacterial Meningitis

The news comes as UC Santa Barbara and Princeton University grapple with their own cases of the potentially deadly illness

By Samantha Tata
|  Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013  |  Updated 1:20 PM EDT
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A staff member at the University of California Riverside has an active case of bacterial meningitis, the school announced Monday.

“Although the risk of transmission is low, it is best to take precautions,” UCR said in a statement.

“The university will notify any students, staff and faculty who could have had repeated contact with the individual. The campus is offering resources at the campus health center for any student who is concerned.”

The diagnosed employee is off campus and anyone who may have come into contact with them will be contacted individually, the school said.

Further details about the sickened staffer were not immediately available and it isn't clear whether they came down with a similar strain of meningitis that has sickened students at UC Santa Barbara and Princeton University.

Bacterial meningitis can be spread through kissing, coughing or prolonged contact. Symptoms can include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea and vomiting.

It is vital that treatment be started as soon as possible and appropriate antibiotic treatment of the most common types of bacterial meningitis should reduce the risk of dying from the disease to below 15 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Monday’s revelation out of Riverside comes one week after an 18-year-old student at UC Santa Barbara had both of his feet amputated after he contracted meningitis in an outbreak that sickened three other students at his university.

More than 500 students on the Santa Barbara campus were provided with antibiotics to prevent the potentially deadly sickness from spreading, the school said.

Across the country, another university continues to grapple with bacterial meningitis. Last month, Princeton University reported its eighth confirmed case of meningitis this year.

The outbreak on the New Jersey campus forced the Ivy League school to offer an emergency vaccine that has not been approved by the FDA and is aimed at halting the strain’s spread.

Nearly 2,000 Princeton students lined up on campus Monday to receive the shots, NBC News reports.

In a statement, UC Riverside said it is “following standard protocols mandated by public health laws and by general practice” in light of the case on its campus.

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