Oct 212010
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

CSU sophomore Christina Adame, 23, died early Wednesday morning from meningococcal sepsis, not meningococcal meningitis, a Larimer County health official confirmed Thursday morning in a press release.

“The Coroner’s office did not say the cause of death was not meningococcal disease. It will take 24-48 hours for the Coroner’s office lab to culture the meningococcal organism,” said Jane Viste, public information officer for Larimer County Department of Health and Environment, in the same press release.

Late Wednesday night the Larimer County Coroner’s Office released that the cause of death was pending microbiology and lab work, but meningitis was ruled out as a cause of death.

Viste’s release indicated that the coroner’s office “may have” put out the release to encourage the use of the correct term and clear up any confusion.

Because the coroner saw no inflammation of the brain, he determined it could not be meningococcal disease, the same press release said. Vista’s release said during a Wednesday press conference, meningococcal sepsis was given as the likely cause of death.

Sepsis is caused by the same meningococcal bacteria that causes meningitis, but it affects the blood rather than the brain and spinal cord.

Adame, who lived off campus, checked into the hospital around 9 p.m. Tuesday night after reporting flu-like symptoms to her mom, Nancy Adame.

Freshman Zachary Ratzlaff experienced similar symptoms and was placed in Poudre Valley Hospital’s intensive care unit but as of Wednesday night is on a regular medical floor.

Some lab results found the possibility of a viral infection, but he will be treated for meningococcal disease until results are definitive. Ratzlaff lived in the C-wing of Corbett residence hall.

Officials say they’ve found no connection between Adame and Ratzlaff.

This comes on the heels of an outbreak this past summer that left two men dead and another hospitalized. A CSU student also contracted the disease but made a full recovery. Sepsis was ruled as the cause of death for the two men.

Meningicoccal disease is only spread through saliva and is not airborne, and health officials do not believe there is a significant risk for the campus at this time. However, they warn students to immediately contact a physician if they have symptoms or believe they are at risk.

“You can’t go to bed hoping to sleep it off or drive home to your family doctor. Seek treatment right away,” a press release from the CSU Public Safety Team said.

Vaccinations are available for students at Hartshorn Health Center for $15. The center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesdays from 5 to 8 p.m. and can be reached at 970-491-2147.

 Posted by at 2:16 am

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