About 2,000 people -- a quarter of the undergraduate student body -- have received prophylactic medication so far after a third Penn student was hospitalized for a meningococcal infection, according to University spokeswoman Phyllis Holtzman.
The third student is still in critical condition today. Holtzman said no new cases were reported Saturday.
All University and student-sponsored parties that may bring students into close contact, particularly through food and drink, have been canceled for the weekend "as a precaution," according to Holtzman.
All athletic and performing arts events will continue as usual, though the Feb Club events at Franklin Fountain and Penn's Landing have been canceled.
The University announced Thursday that two other students had been hospitalized with cases of meningococcal infection. As of Saturday morning, one student is in stable condition and the other is in critical condition, Holtzman said. She would not confirm the identity of any of the students.
The three students who were hospitalized are believed to have come into contact at a Greek event recently. At least two of the students lived in the the Pi Kappa Alpha house, CBS 3 reported Friday evening. Holtzman said she was unable to confirm whether the two students lived in the fraternity house.
Student Health Services has recommended that any student who has attended a fraternity or sorority event or has had prolonged contact with someone who has since Feb. 2 receive prophylactic treatment.
A clinic was held at Student Health Services, located at 3535 Market St., Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.
Students who went to the clinic seeking treatment were asked to outline their allergies, any symptoms they have been having and their affiliation with any Greek or athletic communities. They were then given prophylactic medication, according to students who attended the clinic.
Clinics will also be held in Houston Hall tonight from 7 to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m.
Another clinic will be held at SHS on Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More than 100 students went to Houston Hall Friday night to receive treatment after e-mails circulated through the Greek community saying it was being dispensed. After large crowds of students began arriving the line was cut off and students were told to visit the clinic in the morning.
SHS director Evelyn Weiner said Thursday that the University had contacted students who had come in close contact with the first two students who had reported meningitis-like symptoms. She said more than 100 of those students had received treatment by Thursday evening.
Common early symptoms of a meningococcal infection include fever, severe headache, sensitivity to bright light, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, rash and lethargy.
The two students in the hospital Thursday were believed to have meningococcemia, which is caused by the same bacteria that causes meningitis and often has the same effects.
Meningococcemia is a bacterial infection within the bloodstream, while meningitis is an infection of the central nervous system.
Then-College sophomore Anne Ryan died from meningitis in September 2007. Her family has filed a lawsuit against the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, alleging Ryan's doctors initially misdiagnosed her meningitis and did not provide adequate treatment. The suit has not been resolved.
City news editor Emily Schultheis, senior staff writer Jessica Bell and staff writer Matthew Burnard contributed to this article.Comments powered by Disqus
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