According to WSU officials, the 19-year-old male was experiencing severe flu-like symptoms for two weeks before he was treated at Pullman Regional Hospital on Sunday. He was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, and he is currently there in stable condition.
"It is a very serious disease," said WSU Health and Wellness Services Behavioral Health Executive Director Bruce Wright. "It's rare. It's infrequent. But when it does manifest, it can progress very quickly."
The student is a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. WSU and Whitman County Health Officials have contacted his fraternity brothers and other close contacts who may have been exposed to the virus to give them precautionary antibiotics. The general public is at a very low risk of contracting the illness, however about 10% of the cases are fatal. Those experiencing the symptoms are encouraged to seek medical attention. They include severe headaches, a stiff neck, a red or purple rash, and other flu-like symptoms.