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The student hospitalized with a meningococcal infection at St. Joseph's University has been confirmed to have strain B of the infection, the same strain that infected four Penn students in February and March.

But according to Penn spokeswoman Lori Doyle, the cases are not related.

"We can say confidently . that there is no connection between the case at St. Joe's and the Penn cases," she said.

The fourth case at Penn was reported in early March - well outside the two- to 10-day incubation period for the infection, Doyle added.

Strain B is the only one of five strains of the infection - A, B, C, Y and W-135 - for which there is no known vaccine.

Students at St. Joseph's were notified of the hospitalization through an alert posted on their student e-mail home page and the university's student health center Web site Thursday.

According to the alert, the student became ill on Wednesday afternoon and was sent to Lankenau Hospital immediately after being seen at the university's health center.

The health center opened its doors for extra hours this weekend and is encouraging anyone experiencing symptoms of the infection to seek medical treatment.

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