A first-year Taaibos student died on 26 February after contracting meningitis.
Dominic Fugareu, who was studying BCom Accounting, was diagnosed with meningitis on 8 February and was immediately hospitalised. Fugareu passed away after just over two weeks in hospital.
Condolences to his family and loved ones have been pouring in through various forms of media. Friends of Fugareu started a blog, ourfrienddom.wordpress.com, where anyone that knew him can visit the page and leave special thoughts and memories in his honour. On the blog he is described as a “genuine, caring friend” and as “bright, energetic [and] reliable”. On Tuesday afternoon, the Taaibos residence tweeted their “heartfelt condolences to the Fugareu family”. Various other residences also tweeted their sympathies.
The University of Pretoria extends its sincere condolences to the Fugareu family and staff are assisting in any manner possible to help during this difficult time. Fugareu will be laid to rest this Wednesday.
Meningitis is generally a viral infection that you can recover from without treatment, but bacterial meningitis infections are very serious and may lead to brain damage or death, even if treated, according to the US National Library of Medicine.
Eyewitness News reported last week Thursday that the Gauteng Health Department’s spokesperson, Simon Zwane, said that “the department’s disease outbreak team visited the residence and provided prophylactic treatment to other students who came into contact with him.” Zwane, in connection with UP, expressly urged students not to panic as the situation is under control and that it is an isolated case.
Perdeby spoke to Basheer Vally, a pharmacist at Woolfson’s Pharmacy, about the symptoms of meningitis. He explained that because it is a serious communicable disease, the symptoms are very noticeable and one should immediately seek medical attention if the symptoms manifest.
University of Pretoria media liaison officer Nicolize Mulder said that the university, in conjunction with the Department of Health, took immediate action and attempted to reach everyone who had come into contact with Fugareu before he was diagnosed to test them for the disease. Mulder added that, as a result of the quick reaction time of both departments, no other students have been diagnosed.
Mulder explained that students who feel that they are possibly symptomatic are encouraged to approach the student health centre which has qualified doctors on hand who are equipped to help students with any medical or health-related queries.
The university urges students not to panic as the situation is fully under control.