Acadia University student dies of suspected meningitis case
Nova Scotia Public Health officials investigating
An Acadia University student has died after a suspected case of meningitis, the Wolfville university said Sunday.
Public health authorities in Nova Scotia notified Acadia University of the suspected illness on Saturday, said university spokesman Scott Roberts.
"It is a very sad day for all of us here at Acadia," he said in an emailed statement.
"Public Health has been in contact with the student's close contacts and has provided them with whatever preventative treatments they feel is appropriate."
The school is not identifying the student at the request of his or her family. They would not disclose whether the student lived on or off campus.
"What we do know from Public Health is that there is very little risk to the Acadia community beyond those individuals already contacted," Roberts said.
If the Acadia University student's death was related to meningitis, it is the second such death in the province in two weeks, following Sackville High School student Rylee Sears's death on Jan. 26.
Public health authorities are investigating the Acadia student's death but could not be reached for comment Sunday night.
Earlier this week, Nova Scotia's chief public health officer said the province had gone "many years" without a meningitis death before Sears's death. The province has long seen four cases of the illness, at most, per year.
Early meningitis symptoms include a fever, nausea and headache. Later symptoms include a stiff neck, skin rash and sensitivity to light. The infection, which is spread through direct contact with saliva and mucus, can become dangerous quickly.
In the wake of Sears' death, public health officials said the population at large was at no higher risk than usual for the infection. About 130 people who had close contact with the Grade 10 student were screened and some were given antibiotics and a vaccine pre-emptively.