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Bacterial Meningitis Strikes Student

Friends and classmates of an Oviedo woman with bacterial meningitis have been notified they are at risk of the highly contagious disease that causes inflammation of membranes around the brain and spinal cord , the Orlando Sentinel reports.

About 20 close contacts who also may have shared drinks with the woman are already receiving antibiotics. Fourteen students and a professor at Seminole State College who were in class with the 18-year-old also were notified Monday, according to the Sentinel.

Bacterial meningitis is not easily transmitted; it requires close contact, such as kissing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s not clear if the young woman, who remains hospitalized, knew meningitis is preventable via vaccine. The Sentinel shared a video from the syndicated show “The Doctors,” which highlighted another case where a young man had his hands and lower legs amputated as result of a bacterial meningitis infection. He said he had no idea there was a meningitis vaccine.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.