Sharing tiny dorm rooms - and cans of beer - is a surefire way to spread the germs that cause bacterial meningitis, a serious and potentially fatal infection that affects the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
"Living in a dorm room is like living in a petri dish," says Lisette LeCorgne, a nurse practitioner at the University of Arizona Campus Health Services.
Like the flu, bacterial meningitis can be spread through saliva (by kissing and sharing glasses, for instance).
The solution: LeCorgne advises students to get a meningitis vaccination and to wash their hands frequently, wipe down countertops and other shared surfaces, avoid close contact with someone who is sick, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep.
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