UPDATE: UW-Madison student dies from bacterial meningitis - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: UW-Madison student dies from bacterial meningitis

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MADISON (WKOW) -- University of Wisconsin-Madison student Henry Mackaman has died from bacterial meningitis, according to the university.

The 21-year-old  St. Paul, MN resident was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and was hospitalized in Madison earlier this week. His family has removed him from life support and is donating his organs as he wished.

"Henry was so loved by everyone who knew him, both in the Twin Cities and here in Madison," says Dean of Students Lori Berquam. "After spending time with his family, I know Henry would be grateful to know that his organs will benefit others."

Meningococcal disease is not highly contagious and there is no reason to believe that this case presents a health risk to the UW-Madison community, says Sarah Van Orman, M.D., UHS executive director.

Mackaman, an economics and English double major, was well known on campus for his love of music, and was the guitarist, producer, and co-founder of a Twin Cities band called Phantom Vibration. He also was DJ for a show on WSUM Student Radio and studied abroad across Europe.

Mackaman is survived by his father, Douglas Mackaman, mother Meredith Leigh Mackaman, brother Owen Lee Mackaman, and stepmother Maggie O'Hara. His father, mother and stepmother are all UW-Madison graduates. Memorial information will be shared as it becomes available.

"Please keep Henry and all of us in your thoughts and prayers," wrote Henry's mother, Meredith Mackaman, on his CaringBridge Journal site. "Henry's spirit and the joy he brought to us will live on anytime we share stories of him, listen to music he recorded, and retell the jokes and bad puns he laid on us."

Students in need of counseling or support are encouraged to contact University Health Services (UHS). Students can drop in to Counseling and Consultation Services (333 East Campus Mall, 7th floor) anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Or call the 24-hour UHS crisis line at 608-265-5600, option 9.

The bacteria are spread only through very close contact with an infected person's oral or nasal secretions, such as by sharing cups, smoking materials and utensils. Students who were in close contact have been treated with antibiotics as a precaution. UHS is coordinating with officials from Public Health Madison-Dane County and will continue to closely monitor the situation.

Meningococcal disease is very rare, often comes on suddenly, and can progress rapidly.  It's typically treated with antibiotics, however, even with the best medical care, it can be fatal.

Students who are concerned or have questions about their health should call UHS at 608-265-5600.

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A student at UW-Madison is in the hospital with meningitis.

UW officials have not identified the student or released any more information about the student's status in the hospital.

Meningitis is an inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord that's very rare, but can be deadly. Health officials at the university say the meningococcal disease, which causes meningitis, is not highly contagious and there's no reason to believe there's any health risk to other students or staff members.

People who were in close contact with the student were contacted and given antibiotics as a precaution.

Students who are concerned or have questions about their health or are in need of counseling or support are encouraged to contact University Health Services (UHS) at 608-265-5600.

Click here for more information about meningococcal disease.

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