Meningitis Death Leads Texas Campus to Distribute Antibiotics

HOUSTON – Texas Southern University officials have begun distributing free antibiotics after the death of one of two students recently afflicted with meningitis.

Rodney Bernard, 21, died March 29 from the bacterial infection. An unnamed second student suffering from the same illness is in intensive care at Ben Taub General Hospital but is expected to recover.

School officials report the only connection between the two students was one shared class. Without any other apparent contact, health officials urged the 648 students who had class with either of the victims to seek preventative treatment through antibiotics.

A spokesperson for the Houston Department of Health and Human Services told the Houston Chronicle that it is very unusual to see two cases in such close proximity. The American College Health Association estimates 125 cases of bacterial meningitis occur on campuses each year. Infection is rarely spread through casual contact.

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