UVA Students Take Precautions Against Bacterial Meningitis - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

UVA Students Take Precautions Against Bacterial Meningitis

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Charlottesville, VA—A University of Virginia student is recovering after contracting bacterial meningitis, a potentially-fatal disease. Now, university leaders and students are taking precautions.

Daniel Paylor received the bacterial meningitis vaccine just weeks ago.

"I thought, ‘I don't want to take the time to go down and get the vaccination,'" Daniel recalls. "Then I realized, wow it's probably a very good thing I did because people really get it."

One of Daniel's fellow students did get it: a female student was rushed to the emergency room last week, and diagnosed with bacterial meningitis.

Bacterial meningitis can be deadly, and even if you've been vaccinated, like 95 percent of UVA students, you may still get it.

Dr. James Turner, the Executive Director of UVA's Department of Student Health explains why the vaccine may  not protect you against contracting bacterial meningitis:

"It protects against four of the five major strains. The fifth strain is called the b strain and in fact, this particular student is infected with the b strain."

Doctors at the health center sent an email to every undergraduate student,  informing them of the situation, and also reminding students of a girl who did here back in 2006 of bacterial meningitis.

Jennifer Wells was a fourth-year UVA student when she contracted bacterial meningitis. She passed away due to the sickness. Her family honors her memory with an annual Moonlight Walk and Run, the proceeds of which go to the National Meningitis Association. 

UVA doctors are hoping the young woman who is currently suffering from bacterial meningitis will fully recover. 51 girls who were at a sorority function with her days before she became ill have been given antibiotics. They say they are "very hopeful" that there will be no other cases.

Stay with 8News for updates.

 

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