Student dies from suspected meningitis

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A SHEFFIELD Hallam University student has died from suspected meningitis.

University officers are working closely with the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and have put in place procedures to control the spread of any infection.

The body was found on Friday morning in shared student accommodation, but the cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

More details are expected when a pathologist’s report has been completed later this week.

Clive Macdonald, Hallam’s director of student and learning services, said: “We have regrettably been made aware of the death of one of our students.

“As yet there is no confirmed cause of death, but it is suspected to be a case of meningitis.

“We have taken the necessary steps advised by the HPA to identify any individuals who may be considered at risk.

“All those individuals have been contacted and have been advised to arrange to see a doctor who will be able to check their health.

“As we cannot confirm the exact cause of death at this stage, we are taking these steps as a precautionary measure and to minimise any risks. Anyone concerned about their health should contact their doctor or seek advice from an appropriate source.”

Students and staff across the university are being emailed with advice and information on meningitis.

But a wider publicity campaign is not being seen as necessary at this stage as many students have still not returned from the Christmas vacation.

An inquest will be opened once investigations into the cause of death are complete.

Outbreaks of meningitis are most common during the winter months with symptoms sometimes being mistaken for those of flu.