The death of a Drexel University sophomore earlier this month is likely linked to the meningitis outbreak that affected seven Princeton University students, according to a statement from the Center for Disease Control.
Drexel student Stephanie Ross was found unresponsive in her on-campus sorority house last Monday. Her death was being investigated as a possible meningitis case, according to local news reports.
While no other cases of the disease have been reported at Drexel and the last reported case at Princeton was last year, all of those affected shared the same rare meningitis strain, the CDC confirmed:
CDC’s laboratory analysis shows that the strain in Princeton University’s serogroup B meningococcal disease outbreak matches the strain in the Drexel University case by “genetic fingerprinting.” This information suggests that the outbreak strain may still be present in the Princeton University community and we need to be vigilant for additional cases…
The public health investigation of the Drexel University student revealed that the student had been in close contact with students from Princeton University about a week before becoming ill.
According to student newspaper The Daily Princetonian, more than 80% of eligible Princeton community members have recieved two doses of a vaccination that had not been approved in the United States.
The CDC statement warns both Princeton and Drexel students to be “especially vigilant to the signs and symptoms of meningococcal disease and seek urgent treatment if suspected.”
“Symptoms may include sudden onset of a high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, rapid breathing, or a rash. Handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes are also good practices to follow,” according to the CDC.
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