A University of Wyoming student has been hospitalized after being diagnosed with meningitis.

Dr. Joanne Steane, director of the UW Student Health Service, said in a statement that the university and the Wyoming Department of Health are currently seeking out those who have had close personal contact with the student so they can be offered preventative treatment with antibiotics.

Meningitis is a swelling of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord and is usually caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Some cases of meningitis, such as bacterial meningitis, can be fatal if medical attention is not sought.

The symptoms of meningitis include fever, headache and a stiff neck. The university says students who are concerned that they have meningitis should contact the UW Student Health Service. Faculty and staff should contact their personal doctor’s office, the Albany Community Health Clinic, an urgent care facility or Ivinson Memorial Hospital emergency room.

Some types of meningitis can be contagious, but it is not usually spread as easily as the viruses that cause the common cold or the flu and only some kinds require antibiotics.

More From KOWB 1290