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Clinton Took Antibiotic After Low-Risk Meningitis Exposure

June 13, 1995

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ President Clinton took antibiotics Tuesday after being told he had shaken hands with a college student who has been diagnosed with meningitis.

Clinton should not be in any danger because the sometimes fatal brain disease is transmitted through prolonged, intimate contact such as kissing, state epidemiologist Dr. Geoffrey Smith said.

Ginny Terzano, deputy White House press secretary, said Clinton took the single dose of antibiotics _ standard for low-risk exposure to meningitis _ in pill form.

``The president is in excellent health, and his doctor knows he is considered low-risk for being infected,″ Terzano said by telephone Tuesday evening.

``Dartmouth notified the president’s doctor, and then the president’s doctor took the appropriate steps.″

Clinton spoke at Dartmouth College’s graduation Sunday in Hanover and shook hands with seniors before traveling to Claremont for his televised talk with House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

The student, Peter Hecht, 22, of Northbrook, Ill., was diagnosed Monday after being admitted to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon with flu-like symptoms. He was in satisfactory condition Tuesday afternoon, hospital spokesman Ken McDaniels said.

Hecht is the fourth student since January diagnosed with the disease, college spokesman Alex Huppe said.

``They appreciated the information but did not react to the information with any undue concern,″ Huppe said.

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