New meningitis case shares bacterial strain with Marx

Branden Peterson

The second University student found with a meningococcal infection in the past three weeks remained in stable condition at Fairview-University Medical Center on Friday.

The male graduate student was first admitted into the hospital April 6 with a progressive illness, originating with a high fever.

Boynton Health Service director Dr. Ed Ehlinger said the student was found with the same meningococcal bacterial strand as that of Kristin Marx, a University sophomore who died March 27 from bacterial meningitis.

Marx and the hospitalized patient did not know each other.

The student is not diagnosed with meningitis, Ehlinger said, but was found to have “serious infection” of the bacteria in several parts of his body.

Ehlinger said Fairview-University hospital officials believe the patient will make a full recovery. However, it is unknown how long that will take.

The student does not live in a residence hall. Only students the patient said he had contact with and students in his classes have been contacted for oral antibiotic treatment.

“If people haven’t been contacted, it’s because they haven’t been in those classes,” Ehlinger said.

Ehlinger said he expects more students to come to Boynton for vaccinations or oral antibiotics during the upcoming week.

Ready to respond to increased demand, Boynton extended hours during the weekend but did not see a large response.

“The reason we stayed open this weekend is to help people who were feeling nervous, if they wanted someone to talk to or in case they wanted to be vaccinated,” Ehlinger said.

The risk of acquiring the disease remains low on campus despite these two cases, University officials said.

They urged people with questions or concerns to contact Boynton.

Symptoms of the bacteria include headaches, stiff neck, sleepiness, irritability, confusion, fever, vomiting and possible seizures.