Kirkwood Community College student dies, bacterial meningitis suspected
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - A Kirkwood Community College student died Tuesday morning. Linn County Public Health says this hasn't been confirmed as a case of bacterial meningitis, but they're fairly sure that's what it is.
Kirkwood Community College officials say the 21-year old student died early Tuesday. People in close contact with the man have been notified and are receiving antibiotic treatment.
Bacterial meningitis can be a highly contagious disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people in close quarters with others, such as high school and college students, are at higher risk of catching it. It can be passed through sneezing, coughing or kissing.
Signs and symptoms can include a high fever, headache, and stiff neck, which can have a rapid onset of about 1 or 2 hours. Health professionals say if you have those symptoms, see a doctor immediately; it's not safe to take chances, because it can quickly turn deadly.
Bacterial meningitis is not to be confused with viral meningitis, which is rarely fatal. However, viral and bacterial meningitis often have the same symptoms, so again: if you have those symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
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