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Bentley student dies of bacterial meningitis

Posted by Ralph Ranalli October 9, 2007 02:08 PM

WALTHAM

Some 30 students at Bentley College have been given precautionary antibiotics after a first-year student died over the weekend from bacterial meningitis in New York.

Officials at the Waltham college said today at a press conference that they have found as many as 50 students who may have had contact with Erin Ortiz, 18, who died while visiting her family in New Hampton, N.Y., staff writers Tania deLuzuriaga and Andrew Ryan report on the Globe's Local News Updates blog.

"We are working day and night to identify students who may have had contact with her," said Gerri Taylor, director of Bentley Student Health Services. "It's a health service's worst nightmare. It's a college's worst nightmare."

No additional cases have been reported. Bacterial meningitis is passed through close contact, including kissing and sharing food. Bentley officials are encouraging anyone with symptoms to seek medical attention. Symptoms include high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, discomfort looking into bright lights, confusion, and sleepiness.

Read more about the tragedy at Bentley on Local News Updates.

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