NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – The Yale student with probable bacterial meningitis is still in the hospital undergoing treatment. The student was admitted to Yale-New Haven Hospital late last week.
In a letter to the Yale community, the Director of Yale Health reports the student has shown signs of improvement over the last 48 hours.
Francesca Testa was a 17 year old high school senior, heading to college on a swimming scholarship when she contracted the potentially deadly bacterial meningitis.
“Within the first day, day and a half I was in the hospital,” recounted Testa, “They told my parents to prepare for the worst, and that I had about a 20 percent chance of survival.”
She was treated at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, “I was unconscious for about 6 days, so almost a week. I was in the hospital for just about 2 weeks, in and out of a medically induced coma.”
Five strains of bacterial meningitis are linked to serious symptoms.
Only four are covered by the current vaccine.
‘It is quite effective,” said Dr. Sandra Carbonari, Board President of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
But more protection will soon be available with the FDA recently approving two vaccines for the unprotected “B” strain.
“We’re hoping to get that out there and get everyone covered,” said Dr. Carbonari.
Yale is among colleges and universities requiring incoming freshman living on campus to get the meningitis shot
Dr. Carbonori said, “he may have the b strain, which he would not have had the vaccine available for b strain to him and so if he does have meningococcal meningitis, stain b then he was not protected.”
Testa now works at Western Connecticut State University and is a spokesperson for the National Meningitis Association.
She is a survivor who lives with long lasting effects, among them, “Hearing and vision loss, some cognitive functional loss as well, I have scarring.”
Testa is doing well, and is pursuing a masters in degree in public health.
For more information- read more at www,nmaus.org – National Meningitis Association.