NEW BRUNSWICK — Rutgers University has issued an alert to one of its campuses about a student who was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

According to an email that was sent to the campus community, the student was hospitalized on Sunday and is being treated. Close friends and family were notified so they could be treated with antibiotics as a preventive measure.

The email did not disclose how the student came into contact with the disease.

Dawn Thomas of the state Department of Health said the agency is working with Rutgers and the local health department to investigate this case.

It is the second case of bacterial meningitis at the New Brunswick campus in the past three years. Two students were diagnosed in May 2016 just before commencement

The CDC considers bacterial meningitis to be "very serious and can be deadly," according to its website. Most people diagnosed with meningitis recover, but the disease can result in permanent disabilities such as brain damage, hearing loss, and learning disabilities, according to the CDC.

Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, headache, and stiff neck. There are often other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light, and confusion.

The CDC said the illness is spread by an exchange of saliva during kissing, coughing, or lengthy contact. NJ Department of Health spokeswoman Thomas noted that the bacteria are not spread by casual contact activities like being in the same work or school room as the sick person.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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