People at a University of Calgary residence are being told to be extra vigilant about washing their hands after a student at Rundle Hall became sick last week with a suspected case of viral meningitis.

Notices have been sent to everyone living in the residence telling them to take extra precautions to protect their health.

Viral meningitis is generally less severe than meningitis, which is the inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord known as the meninges, and resolves without specific treatment.

Caused by viruses, viral meningitis is serious but rarely fatal in people with healthy immune systems.

The most common symptoms of meningitis are headache and neck stiffness associated with fever, vomiting and an inability to tolerate light.