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Bacterial meningitis scare at Iona College

January 30, 2009 10:01:10 AM PST
A bacterial meningitis scare this morning at Iona College in Westchester County. A 19-year-old student from the campus in New Rochelle is hospitalized in critical condition from a suspected case. The college says the 19-year-old man went home to Long Island on Tuesday and was hospitalized Wednesday.

Several students who attended an off-campus party with him, visited the health center last night to get tested at the recommendation of the school.

The college sent out a letter on Thursday afternoon to students -- outlining the facts about meningitis.

  • Click here to read the health alert posted on Iona's website

    Meningitis is a swelling of the membranes around the spinal cord and brain and can be fatal. Symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.

    This isn't the first time Iona has dealt with a health scare. Back in October of 2007, 9 of the college's football players and one of the coaches was diagnosed with MRSA staph infections. Fortunately, they all recovered.

    The New Rochelle school says it's providing preventive antibiotics to students who could have been exposed through shared food, drinks or cigarettes or other direct contact. It says there's no need to treat casual contact, such as sharing a classroom.

    The 19-year-old student remains in critical condition. Anyone who is concerned about having contact with him should get tested at the school's health center or see their doctor. Many students are now vaccinated for meningitis, but it's not clear if the vaccine is effective on this strain.

    Iona College has about 4,300 students. It was founded by the Christian Brothers in 1940.

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    On the Net:

    Department of Health info on meningitis:
    http://www.nyhealth.gov/diseases/communicable/meningococcal/fact-she et.htm

    WEB PRODUCED BY: Lakisha Bostick


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