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University of South Florida Prepares for Bacterial Meningitis Outbreak

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After a USF student, Rachel Futterman, was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, the university has braced itself for more cases of the rare but potentially deadly disease. Bacterial meningitis, an infection of the brain and spinal cord lining, is a rare but potentially fatal illness. Early symptoms can resemble the flu, including fever, severe headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, rash and lethargy. The bacteria is spread through direct contact, which would include sharing things like cigarettes, drinking glasses or a kiss.