Originally created 09/27/03

UGA meningitis scare over

ATHENS, Ga. - Two University of Georgia freshmen don't have bacterial meningitis, tests results indicated Friday, but university officials say the students will remain in an Athens hospital until early next week.

The women still might have viral meningitis, said UGA spokesman Pete Konenkamp. Doctors consider the viral form less serious than the bacterial form. And, Mr. Konenkamp added, "It might not be meningitis. It can be any number of viruses they have."

During the next few days, the students will receive typical virus treatment, Mr. Konen-kamp said - bed rest, fluids and pain relievers.

One of the freshmen lives in Brumby Hall, a women's dormitory; the other lives off campus.

Officials said Thursday the women both complained of headaches, and one had the sniffles - both early symptoms of meningitis, a disease spread through close contact in which saliva is transmitted. The students know each other, Mr. Konenkamp said.

The test results came one day after dozens of UGA students flocked to the University Health Center to be vaccinated against the disease. Although Georgia colleges don't require students to be vaccinated, a state law effective in January will require all incoming freshmen living in residence halls to get the shot or sign a waiver saying they know the consequences of not getting it.


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