At-risk students to get anitbiotic therapy

An autopsy report revealed that the sudden death of Danny Sickles, 20, a junior accounting major, was caused by bacterial meningitis.

Missouri Southern is currently taking precautions to make sure that a death like this doesn’t occur again among the students on campus.

After release of the pathologist report, Southern contacted those who might have had close contact with Sickles during his illness.

“They are treating 15-20 students,” said Justin Maskus, sports information director. “There are 7-8 baseball players among them. It’s fairly tough, but we’re being extra careful.”

Only those who have been identified as having close contact with Sickles will receive a two-day dose of antibiotics. Southern will cover costs for the antibiotic treatment. No additional treatment will be necessary.

Bacterial meningitis is spread only through close personal contact, such as kissing, coughing, or sneezing. Bacterial meningitis cannot be contracted through casual contact. Merely being in the same class as a person with the infection does not mean you are at risk.

However, any flu-like symptoms should not be taken lightly. A person exhibits symptoms of meningitis, and then they are diagnosed. The infection is not something that can be tested for. Symptoms of meningitis include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting.

Meningitis is preventable through a vaccination shot. Southern students are encouraged to get the vaccination.

Students living in the residence halls are required to have the shot before living on campus. However, according to the handbook, a person can opt from the shot for religious reasons.

Nearly all bacterial meningitis cases are individual cases. There is currently no evidence to suspect a meningitis outbreak.