B.C. student may have died of meningitis

Rare disease kills one in 10 who get it

Thompson Rivers University is warning staff and students after a fourth-year theatre student, Bradley Munro, died of what appears to have been meningitis. Meningitis is a swelling of the brain that is caused by viruses or bacteria. The more rare bacterial form (Meningococcal meningitis) causes death in roughly 10 per cent of those who get sick and permanent damage, such as deafness, in another 10 per cent. There are between 160 and 350 cases reported in this country each year, says Health Canada. The disease is contagious and signs of infection include vomiting, fever, severe headache and stiff neck. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas signed a law earlier this year that will make his state the first to require that all university and college students be vaccinated against the disease.