Deadly Illness

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A Michigan State University student has been hospitalized with a bacterial infection that can be fatal if not treated.

Michigan State is not releasing the name of the student, who is female. But the university has contacted 10 people who were in close enough contact to be infected. Those students are being treated with antibiotics.

The student was admitted to Sparrow Hospital late Thursday.

She contracted meningoccocemia, which affects the blood. It is caused by the same bacteria that causes meningitis, which inflames the lining around the brain.

The bacteria can only spread through very close contact, such as sharing eating utensils or kissing.

Symptoms include a high fever and sudden, severe headache.

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Meningococcemia Facts

  • Meningococcemia is a rare bacteria that infects the bloodstream, causing reaction throughout the body.

  • Meningococcemia usually strikes children who are usually healthy and hits without warning.

  • More than half of the children diagnosed with the bacteria die.

  • Children who survive have a good chance for continued health problems throughout life, such as gangrene and brain damage.

  • Meningococcus enters the body through the nose and throat.

  • Treatment is with antibiotics, and early medical attention is important. Diagnosis is confirmed by laboratory testing.

  • The disease is spread by direct contact with mucus or saliva from the nose and throat of an infected individual.

  • As many as 25 percent of the population carry the organism in their throat at any given time with no sign of illness. Only very occasionally does it invade the body to cause meningococcal disease.

      Source: A collection of web reports contributed to this report


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