Ardmore college student gets meningitis

By: Alex Belser Email
By: Alex Belser Email

ARDMORE, OK - Doctors are watching a young woman's condition closely after discovering she has meningitis.

She takes college classes and also works in the office at the Ardmore Higher Education Center on Veterans Boulevard.

Officials stressed that this is not the form of bacterial meningitis that requires those who come into close contact with the patient to be vaccinated.

"The Carter County Health Department explained to us that there are three strands of bacterial meningitis and there's one particular one that is the concern," Higher Education Center director Steven Mills said, adding that this case is not one of those.

"It must be a different strand than I guess I'm familiar with," student Kimberly Lewis said.

Student Janice Ellis said she worked as a nurse and knows about meningitis in an even more personal way.

Ellis contracted the condition in a hospital when she got a morphine pump during surgery, and ended up unconscious for four days.

"When they are going into a coma, they get completely rigid," Ellis said. "You can try to bend their necks and just lift them up completely off the table."

Mills said the Higher Ed Center informed the Health Department but did not tell students Wednesday in order to stop unwarranted fears.

"There's no reason to put word out because it just alarms people," Mills said.

Student Michael Reed said he was not worried because he received a meningitis shot when he went away to another college. Students who stay in dorms are now required to get shots to prevent meningitis.

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