The third meningitis case is a HOAX

This is what we know

In the midst of emergency health services emails, the advent of a meningitis outbreak, and the usual UMass cold & flu season, tensions are high and rumors are flying.

Approximately 24 hours ago, students were informed via an Emergency Health Services email that a second case of meningococcal meningitis has been reported on campus. The diagnosis confirmed that the second student, though having no relation to the initial victim, attained the same Serogroup B strain that left ZBT brother, Jonathan Townsend, hospitalized in late October.

Our brother Jonathan is fighting vigorously through this unfortunate situation. We are continuing to ask for your…

Posted by ZBT UMass on Saturday, November 4, 2017

The University previously sent out warnings and advice, and is now vaccinating for this specific strand of the virus. The email reads: "Don’t swap saliva. Avoid sharing food, drinks and personal items that contact saliva, including drinks from punch bowls. Wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth—germs spread easily this way."

However, as of early this morning, rumors began circulating in reference to a third case. Students from all around campus discussed the potential outbreak, once again occurring in a southwest residential hall and potentially due to a dining hall. This is NOT true.

Meningitis is spread through bodily fluids, and the University's latest email specifically addresses fears regarding the dining halls and recreation center.

They explain: "Meningococcus B is not spread through sweat. It is safe to go to the Recreation Center and use the exercise equipment, and to swim in university pools… Meningococcus B is not spread through food or on the surface of washed dishes or eating utensils. Eating in UMass dining facilities is safe."

Through all of the hysteria, rumors are bound to arise, yet not all prove true. Keep in mind the different precautions one may take to avoid catching this virus, and stay safe people!

UMass Amherst