The Larimer County Coronerâ€™s Office determined Friday that the cause of death for CSU student Christina Adame, 23, was waterhouse-friderichsen syndrome, not meningitis.
Waterhouse-friderichsen syndrome, which took Adameâ€™s life early Wednesday morning, is caused by neisseria meningitidis that shuts down the adrenal glands and keeps them from fighting bacteria or viruses. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and help regulate the bodyâ€™s endocrine system.
The bacteria, according to Larimer County Deputy coroner Louis Greek, can also cause meningitis, but health officials knew early on that Adame had not fallen victim to that. Her body was unable to fight off a case of sepsis, or blood poisoning.
â€œShe didnâ€™t die directly as a result of sepsis. In her case the actual reason she died was because her adrenal glands could not fight off the sepsis,â€ Greek said.
The bacteria is found in about 10 to 15 percent of the population, said Greek, from the Larimer County Coronerâ€™s Office.
It was initially reported that Adame died from meningococcal sepsis, but late Wednesday night the Larimer County Coronerâ€™s Office released that meningitis was ruled out as a cause of death.
â€œOne of the ways (the bacteria can affect you) is waterhouse-friderichsen disease and the other way is meningitis, but we knew it wasnâ€™t meningitis from the beginning,â€ Greek said.
Medical Records show that Adame received her meningococcal immunization in 2006, according to a release from the Larimer County Coronerâ€™s Office.
As of Friday afternoon, another student suspected of contracting meningitis was recovering at Poudre Valley Hospital. CSU freshman Zachary Ratzlaff, 19, underwent tests that found his illness is likely viral and not linked to Adame.
News Editor Kirsten Silveira can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.