EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) — Students at Evanston Township High School are under a warning, after one of their classmates was diagnosed with a serious bacterial infection.

In a notice to parents issued Monday afternoon, the Evanston Health Department said a student at the school, 1600 Dodge Ave., had come down with a bacterial infection that involves the sudden onset of a high fever, headache, vomiting, a stiff neck, and a rash. The department said sensitivity to light, sleepiness and confusion may also occur.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Michele Fiore reports

The disease can spread rapidly – usually within a day or two, but sometimes within a matter of hours, the department said. It is spread through contact with nasal and oral secretions such as saliva, sputum or mucus from the nose, the department said.

The symptoms cited by the department are all consistent with those of meningitis, but the department did not identify the disease as such.

The Health Department and school are recommending preventative treatment for “close contacts,” including household members, intimate contacts, health care workers performing CPR or other such work, or anyone exposed to someone else’s oral or nasal secretions via kissing or sharing utensils or beverage containers. Any close contacts are advised to be on the lookout for signs of illness.

While normal classroom contact does not necessarily require preventative treatment, everyone at the school is advised to take precautions, the department said.

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