Oswego County News Release
Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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March 15, 2008

Student's Death Was Caused by Bacterial Meningitis

An autopsy has confirmed that the cause of death of a SUNY Oswego student was bacterial meningitis, the Oswego County Health Department announced Saturday morning. The male freshman died Friday morning at Oswego Hospital.

Evan Walsh, Acting Public Health Director, emphasizes that the disease is most commonly spread by direct contact with nose or throat excretions of an infected person, such as sharing food items, a drinking glass, a cigarette or kissing. The disease is not spread by routine or casual contact, such as being in the same dining room, classroom, restroom, or hallway with an infected person. The student was a member of the Sigma Tau Chi fraternity and had recently attended functions at various fraternities and sororities. More information is available on the Oswego State Web site at www.oswego.edu.

Persons who think they have been exposed to this individual should seek health care from their primary care provider or Walker Health Center on campus from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday or noon to 2 p.m. Sunday to receive a preventative medication. For more information over the weekend, call 312-4887 or the Oswego County Health Department's answering service at 341-0086.

Symptoms of meningitis may include fever, severe headache or neckache, chills, mental confusion, stiff neck, vomiting and sensitivity to light. Persons who may have had close contact with the individual student, who have an illness with these symptoms, should seek immediate care from their personal medical care provider or go to an emergency room.

Information about meningitis is available at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/meningococcal_g.htm or http://www.health.state.ny.us/diseases/communicable/meningococcal/fact_sheet.htm.

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