An 18-year-old Oviedo woman has tested positive for bacterial meningitis, the Seminole County Health Department confirmed Tuesday.

The patient is a student at Seminole State College, and last attended classes on Wednesday, May 28, according to a statement from the college ▼.

Family members who spoke with us over the phone said the teen did not feel well over the weekend, and her mother found her unresponsive over the weekend.

She was rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where she continues to be treated.

Bacterial meningitis is rare and very dangerous infection that affects the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

This form of meningitis can be life-threatening and contagious among people in close contact.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, several germs can cause bacterial meningitis.

The teen's family members are also being treated and monitored closely, since the infection can be contagious through mucus and saliva.

For now, the teen's relatives said they are happy she is alive.

Seminole State College issued the following statement Tuesday:

Seminole State College has notified students and employees that a student has been diagnosed with a case of bacterial meningitis.

The student, who is not being identified for privacy reasons, last attended a class on Wednesday, May 28, at the college's Oviedo Campus. She was hospitalized on Saturday, May 31.

The 14 students who attended the class and the professor were notified by email and phone on Monday, June 2.

Today, the Florida Department of Health-Seminole positively confirmed diagnosis of bacterial meningitis. The DOH-Seminole and Seminole State officials met with the student's professor and other students in the class today.

Seminole State is encouraging students and employees with concerns to contact the Florida Department of Health-Seminole at 407-665-3294 or 407-665-3266.


Signs and symptoms

Source: CDC

Meningitis infection may show up in a person by a sudden onset of fever, headache and stiff neck. It will often have other symptoms, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Altered mental status (confusion)

The symptoms of bacterial meningitis can appear quickly or over several days. Typically they develop within 3–7 days after exposure.

Anyone who thinks they have meningitis should see a doctor as soon as possible.


5 types of meningitis

Source: CDC

  • Bacterial meningitis
    The type of meningitis contracted by the 18-year-old patient in Seminole County is said to be bacterial. Caused by bacteria, the infection is usually severe and can be a life-threatening infection that needs immediate medical attention. There are vaccines to prevent some kinds of bacterial meningitis.
  • Viral meningitis
    Caused by viruses, it's often less severe than becterial meningitis and rarely fatal in people with normal immune systems and depending upon the virus involved. There are vaccines to prevent some kinds of viral meningitis.
  • Fungal meningitis
    Caused by fungi, this type of meningitis is not contagious and usually acquired by inhaling fungal spores from the environment. People with certain medical conditions like diabetes, cancer or HIV are at higher risk. Florida was part of a nationwide outbreak of fungal meningitis in 2012, infecting 24 people statewide and killing three patients in Marion County.
  • Parasitic meningitis
    Caused by parasites and less common in developed countries. The parasite enters the body through the nose and is caused by the microscopic amoeba. In the U.S., the majority of infections have been caused by the amoeba Naegleria fowleri, found in warm freshwater located in southern-tier states, including Florida.
  • Noninfectious meningitis
    This type of meningitis is not spread from person to person, but can be caused by cancers, systemic lupus erythematosus, certain drugs, head injury and brain surgery.