Michigan State University student dies from bacterial infection

19-year-old Carly Glynn of Grand Rapids is victim

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State University says a 19-year-old student died Thursday from a bacterial infection.

In an email to the MSU community from the Provost's Office, the university said the student was taken to Sparrow Hospital and died hours later.

The student, Carly Christine Glynn of Grand Rapids, lived in the Snyder-Phillips residential hall.

The university said the Ingham County Health Department was investigating the possible cause of death as meningococcal disease, meningitis. 

Below is a copy of the email:

To: MSU Community

Subject: Student dies of suspected bacterial infection

On late evening Feb. 9, a 19-year-old Michigan State University student living in Snyder-Phillips residence hall was taken to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing and passed away a few hours later. At this time, officials with the Ingham County Health Department are investigating the possible cause of death as a bacterial infection, with one of the suspects being meningococcal disease. Health department officials, following protocol from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are working with MSU's University Physician's Office to identify those people who may have been in close contact with the student and could be at risk of infection. Those individuals identified as being at risk are receiving antibiotic prophylaxis.

Meningococcal disease can cause both a systemic (rapidly progressing flu-like) illness or an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord, commonly known as bacterial meningitis. The spread of meningococcal disease typically requires close contact with an infected person; it is not easily spread airborne like the flu or common cold. There is a vaccine available for meningococcal disease, though the current vaccine does not protect against all strains.

Common symptoms include flu-like symptoms, sore throat and a fever that rapidly becomes more severe, unlike most respiratory illnesses. These symptoms can develop over several hours, or they may take one to two days. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion and sleepiness. Students who are experiencing symptoms should contact the Olin Student Health Center nurse line at 517-353-5557 or their health care provider. If one is getting rapidly ill, one should go to the emergency room.

There are steps that members of the MSU community can take to protect against meningitis and other infections. First, check your vaccination record. Students can log into https://immunize.msu.edu/ to check the vaccinations they self-reported as required by MSU. Students, as well as faculty and staff, also can contact their health care provider for updated information. Members of the MSU community also should foster a healthy immune system by practicing good health habits, including diligent hand-washing, getting plenty of rest and eating right. Students also can help by checking on friends and neighbors who may be ill and encouraging them to get evaluated.

For questions about the disease or more general information, please visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/about/faq.html.

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