Meningitis Possible Link to Student Death

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A University of South Florida student has died from a suspected case of bacterial meningitis.

School officials say 19-year-old Rachel Futterman became ill Friday and went to the hospital Saturday, where she was placed on life support and later died.

USF spokesman Ken Gullette says Futterman did not attend classes late last week, when she would have been most contagious. Dozens of students who had direct contact with her have been treated with a strong antibiotic, and another 200 students will be able to receive the vaccine if they want.

Bacterial meningitis is a potentially fatal infection that strikes about 3,000 Americans each year. It's transmitted via respiratory secretions and by direct contact with an infected person.

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