A Washington State University student hospitalized with a confirmed case of bacterial meningitis has shown encouraging signs of recovery.

The 19-year-old male student is from Seattle and a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity, according to WSUspokesman Darin Watkins.

He is hospitalized at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

He has been upgraded from critical to stable condition and has been removed from a ventilator.

This is the best news we've heard, said Dr. Bruce Wright. While it's still too early to know of any long-term implications, things are certainly looking up.

For two weeks, the student suffered from flu-like symptoms. He sought treatment at Pullman Regional Hospital on Sunday before being transferred to Sacred Heart.

Whitman County health officials have been working with HWS to identify anyone who may be at risk of contracting the disease. Those who had contact with the student and may be at risk are being offered a precautionary dose of antibiotics.

About 30 students have been treated. The treatments are highly effective in preventing the spread of the disease. Health officials say a number of people may be exposed to the bacteria, but will never experience any problems.

It's not a highly contagious disorder. It tends to affect people who, for whatever reason, are kind of run down with their immune system, said Wright. Maybe sleep deprivation, maybe stress - those kinds of things. So it's kind of opportunistic in that sense.


Symptoms of meningitis

Facts about meningitis from the Centers for Disease Control

Washington State Dept. of Health information

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