Recently, we lost a beloved rattler to the rare blood disease, meningococcemia.
Meningococcemia spreads through contact of an infected person. The disease can cause death within 24 hours and the symptoms include rash, fever, headache and anxiety.
According to the National Meningitis Association website, Courtney Simms’ death is projected to be only one of several college students this year.
Statistics reveal that meningococcemia affects more than 3,000 people in the U.S. every year and the best prevention comes in the form of the Menactra vaccine, which due to its effectiveness has been made mandatory for those entering college institutions.
So although her passing should be a source of grief and pain, hopefully it will shed light on an urgent and pressing issue, the importance of taking proper health precautions.
Because many college students share close living quarters with each other, they are at an increased risk. As a result, cleanliness is key and we must be aggressive in protecting our health status.
So our challenge to the student body is for all students, faculty and staff to put your health at the forefront. Use hand sanitizer, cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough and seek immediate medical assistance if you start feeling badly.
Stephanie Burton for the Editorial Board.