Student's death sparks meningitis treatment

April 11, 2008 2:11:34 PM PDT
North Carolina Central University offered meningitis preventive treatment as precautionary measure after a student's death.

The Durham County Health Department has been investigating the tragic death of 21-year-old North Carolina Central University student Tyrell Fuller.

He was a senior history major and psychology minor from Lincolnton and a Resident Assistant at Campus Crossing.

Durham County Officals say Fuller was in critical condition at Granville Medical Center and was transferred to the University of North Carolina Hospital on Monday.

"There was a concern that he may have had an infection due to Neisseria meningitidis, which can cause a serious illness with bloodstream involvement and meningitis (an infection of the brain and spinal cord)," said Durham County in a released statement.

Although the clinical and laboratory information regarding Fuller's cause of death may remain inconclusive in this case, the Durham County Health Department and NCCU offered antibiotic treatment to close contacts of Fuller's as a precautionary measure. The county is defining "close contacts" as those who have had intimate sexual contact, kissing, sharing beverages from the same container, or who shared cigarettes with Fuller over the last seven days.

The Durham County Health Department is not recommending that persons who were in classrooms or who resided in the same apartment building as Fuller receive the preventive treatment medication, as they are not at risk.

NCCU also sent out information on the disease to the campus community Tuesday.

The school also released a statement saying once funeral arrangements are finalized, information will be conveyed to the university community.


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