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UW student dies from Meningitis

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UW student dies from Meningitis

Postby Shorty » Sat Jan 15, 2011 10:14 pm

Sad way to start the semester. Seems like every year or so a UW student dies from Meningitis.

http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/h ... 03286.html
Vital Signs: Meningitis death a reminder to learn about vaccine and symptoms
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Re: UW student dies from Meningitis

Postby frozenCow » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:07 am

This is sad and (in recent years) an all too frequent occurrence.

What puzzles me is, why does this occur so frequently now? The news stories covering it (like the link posted here) always talk about students being vulnerable because of group living conditions. But college students have lived together in groups in Madison for over 160 years, yet students becoming infected with meningitis (and dying!) seems to be a phenomenon of only the past 10 years or so.

I don't recall this happening at all in the 80's and 70's, and friends of mine who were in college in the 60's and earlier are equally puzzled.

So what’s the cause? Is it “super bugs” resulting from overuse of antibiotics? Has increased hygiene somehow suppressed the development of these students immune systems?

Or is it just the opposite, and today’s students are living in more filth than students of yesterday? Kind of hard to believe, considering how some of my college roommates back in the day weren’t exactly slaves to cleanliness and health.
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Re: UW student dies from Meningitis

Postby narcoleptish » Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:59 am

frozenCow wrote:
So what’s the cause? Is it “super bugs” resulting from overuse of antibiotics? Has increased hygiene somehow suppressed the development of these students immune systems?


This would be my guess but can instances these days really be considered frequent? It still seems pretty rare. Nevertheless it's scary as hell because the symptoms are something I wouldn't go to the doctor for. My nurse friend says an extremely bad headache coupled with a fever is a common first sign. Then you might consider going in for the definitive diagnosis via spinal tap. Yay.

I think people who constantly wash their hands and use sanitizer are definitely lowering their immune systems. I avoid antibiotics too. I figure I get enough from the groundwater.
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Re: UW student dies from Meningitis

Postby c02 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:43 pm

narcoleptish wrote:My nurse friend says an extremely bad headache coupled with a fever is a common first sign.


I can attest to that part. Knew of a girl who had a severe headache on Thursday, went in to the E.R. on Friday, passed away on Saturday. That's what makes things so scary with this disease. It seems to present like a migraine and when it begins feeling like something more, it appears to be too late.
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Re: UW student dies from Meningitis

Postby BrianV66 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:38 pm

What puzzles me is, why does this occur so frequently now? The news stories covering it (like the link posted here) always talk about students being vulnerable because of group living conditions.


Is it possible the number of deaths is roughly the same, and it's the reporting of them that has changed?
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