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9 Health Hazards Hidden in College Dorms

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Credit: Getty Images

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The hazard: Meningitis

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.

Next: The hazard: "The kissing disease"

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