Meningitis strikes Colorado State students

A student from Colorado State University died from bacterial meningitis on October 20 while another student remains hospitalized in Fort Collins, Colorado, with a possible infection.

According to public health and university officials, Christina Adame, 23, fell ill around 11 p.m. on the night of October 19 and died approximately three hours later, reports. She was partially incoherent when she called her mother that night.

"This is an illness that can kill very quickly, and can kill otherwise healthy people," Dr. Adrienne LeBailly, director of the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment said at press conference, according to

"This is a very sad tragedy at CSU," university spokesman Brad Bohlander said, according to the Coloradoan. "Our condolences and thoughts go out to Christina’s family in this difficult time."

Zachary Ratlaff, 19, a second student at CSU, was hospitalized with an infection at Poudre Valley Hospital. Officials said they are unaware of any connection between the two. LeBailly said that Ratlaff appeared to be less ill than Adame and that his infection may not be meningitis, reports. He is being treated for meningitis as a precaution.

It also remains unclear whether or not the strain that Adame contracted is the same as the one that killed three Colorado hockey players over the last few months. Those test results should be made available sometime next week.

"It’s concerning when you have clusters of cases," LeBailly said, reports.

University officials announced that they are doing their best to clean and sanitize the living and working environments of the two students to head off any further potential spread of the infection. Workers were seen removing a bed and frame from the wing of Ratzlaff’s dormitory on October 20, reports.

Ratzlaff and Adame were both vaccinated against meningitis within the last four years, but, as LeBailly said, the vaccine is not protective against all strains of the virus. Regardless, LeBailly said that the chances for further infection are low.