Meningitis Suspected in Death

TAMPA -

The University of South Florida has confirmed the death of a student from a suspected case of bacterial meningitis. School officials say 19-year-old Rachel Futterman fell ill Friday. She was hospitalized Saturday. And, her death was confirmed Monday.

Dr. Egilda Torenzi with USF's student health services says it's a devastating disease. 'it's a terrible loss. It's a terrible loss to her family. Its a terrible loss to the university.'

A memorial service has been scheduled Monday night at the M-L-K plaza on USF's Tampa Campus.

A USF spokesman says Futterman didn't attend classes late last week, when she would have been most contagious. Dozens of students who came in direct contact with her were put on strong antibiotics.

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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