Health officials suspect a meningococcal infection may have caused the death of a 20-year-old University of Wisconsin-River Falls student.
Erik Spindler, a business administration major from Stillwater, Minn., died early Monday at River Falls Area Hospital.
"It is a probable case, but not confirmed," said Donna Moraska, Pierce County Health Department director, said of the infection. "It is a disease which is not transmitted through casual contact."
Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection transmitted through intimate contact, which would include sharing eating utensils, sharing a cigarette, drinking from the same pop can or kissing.
School spokesman Mark Kinders said Spindler, who lived at the Hathorn Hall dormitory, had flu-like symptoms last week.
Wisconsin-River Falls Chancellor Ann Lydecker said the university has urged anyone who came into close contact with Spindler to get treatment in the form of antibiotics.
The early symptoms commonly associated with meningococcal disease, which is similar to meningitis, include fever, severe headache, stiff neck, rash, nausea and vomiting, health care officials said.
A University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire student was hospitalized in serious condition earlier this month after he was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis. The disease was discovered early and brought under control by antibiotics, doctors said.
A 17-year-old Chippewa Falls boy and a Wisconsin-Eau Claire student died of the disease this spring. Five other students from Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin-Whitewater and the Chippewa Valley Technical College were hospitalized at about the same time and treated for meningitis.
Fire closes Schwan's convenience foods plant in Marshall
The convenience foods plant at Schwan's Sales Enterprises Inc. was closed Tuesday after a fire started in one of the fryers at the plant early Monday.
"We hope that in a couple of days, after the clean-up, we will be back in operation," said Howard Miller, vice president in corporate relations for Schwan's.
The fire started and was contained to one of three fryers in the plant, Marshall Fire Chief Marc Klaith said.
Two employees were taken to Weiner Memorial Medical Center as a precaution, Miller said. They were examined and quickly released.
The most severe fire damage was contained to the fryer, but smoke damage occurred throughout the plant, Klaith said.
The cause of the fire was being investigated.
Miller said about 60 employees work in the plant.
Miller said he was uncertain how much damage occurred or what the cost would be in lost production.
"We will be able to catch up on our products over the next few days and the beginning of next week," Miller said.
WCCO-TV reaches extended contract agreement with anchor Santaniello
WCCO-TV announced Monday it has reached an extended contract agreement with anchor Amelia Santaniello, who recently lost her slots as co-anchor of the station's 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. newscasts.
Santaniello joined the WCCO-TV staff in 1996. She will continue to share her 6 p.m. anchor duties with Don Shelby. The station did not release the length of the contract or other terms.
The removal of Santaniello from her anchor duties at 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. in favor of Randi Kaye, a weekend anchor who was filling Santaniello's place during her maternity leave, caused a storm of protest from viewers.
Santaniello returned to the air two weeks ago.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.