COME FORWARD: The Gauteng health department wants those who came into contact with a student who died of meningitis to get treated. pictures: Getty Images
The Gauteng health department is still trying to track down everyone who had been in contact with a university of Pretoria student who died from meningitis on Tuesday, the department’s spokesperson Simon Zwane said.
“We are tracing all students who have been in contact with him and we are giving them a prophylaxis to ensure that they don’t contract the disease. We appeal to all students and relatives who came into contact with him to cooperate with our team that can give them treatment,” Zwane said.
He urged students not to panic as the situation was under control. “This is an isolated case,” he said.
University of Pretoria spokesperson Nicolize Mulder said the student was Dominic Fugareu.
“The university extended its sincere condolences to the family of Mr Fugareu. Staff members from the university are currently providing them with the necessary support.”
She said Fugareu was diagnosed with meningitis and hospitalised three weeks ago.
“The university, together with the department of health, responded immediately. Preventative treatment was given to all students who came into contact with him. As a result, no other students were infected,” Mulder said.
The health department also expressed its condolences to the Fugareu family.
“It’s always a sad situation when someone dies of meningitis or any other disease. Our priority at the moment is to make sure that it does not spread,” he said.
Dr Phophi Ramathuba, a medical doctor, said there were several types of meningitis which were common. But she said fungal meningitis was more prevalent.
She said it was important for people who have been in contact with a person who had meningitis to be checked by a doctor. “You have a short time to treat it; if you don’t catch it in time it becomes fatal. If there has been any confirmed contact with other people it’s critical to check for signs and symptoms.”