27 January 2004
Meningitis now confirmed for student who died
Health officials confirmed today (Tuesday 27 January) that a second-year student who died at her family's local hospital in Carshalton, Surrey on Saturday 24 January had meningococcal meningitis. Blood tests show she had the group B strain of the meningococcal bacteria.
Meningococcal disease is, however, highly unlikely to be the cause of illness in the other suspected case of meningitis at Sussex, because blood test results yesterday (Monday 26 January) on a first-year student proved negative. The first-year student, who was admitted to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, is recovering well and has today left hospital.
Dr Angela Iversen, consultant in communicable disease control at the Health Protection Agency, said: "The test results on these two cases of suspected meningitis do not change the health advice which has already been issued to staff and students. They should still be alert to the symptoms of meningitis. We continue to keep the need for further public health action under close review."
Support and advice continue to be offered to students and staff. A helpline, giving information and advice to those concerned set up at the University, has continued to take calls today, although in smaller numbers than before.
Notes for editors
- There is no vaccine available for the B strain of the meningococcal bacteria
Press Office contacts: Rob Read or Jacqui Bealing Tel 01273 678888 or Fax 01273 877456 R.K.Read@email@example.com or J.A.Bealing@sussex.ac.uk
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