UGA student dies after undisclosed illness | Health
ATHENS, Ga. -- University of Georgia officials have not released what caused a student's recent death.
Athens Regional Medical Center confirms that Tanzila Alam passed away on Monday. Her roommate says she went to the student health center last week after developing a fever and becoming ill.
After several days of not feeling well, her roommate says Alam's uncle took her to the hospital, where she had a seizure and became unresponsive. She passed away the next morning.
UGA confirms Alam did not die of bacterial meningitis, despite many rumors. In a statement released Wednesday, University president Jere Morehead discounted those rumors and media reports from other outlets (this does not reference an 11Alive report):
I want to express my profound sympathy concerning the tragic death on Monday of our student, Tanzila Alam. On behalf of the University of Georgia, I express our deepest sympathy to her family and to her friends regarding this terrible loss. This is a very sad case of a vibrant and intelligent young woman being lost at far too young of an age.
Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Tanzila's family and her friends at this time.
I am very concerned in that regard that the focus has not remained on this student and her family but instead has shifted, primarily due to social media and irresponsible reporting of unfounded
claims regarding the cause of her passing. The rumor mill that has blown up around her passing is unfortunate and is feeding speculation that simply is not true. I want to state in no uncertain terms that we have been assured by medical experts that there is no bacterial meningitis at the University of Georgia. While no official cause of death has been confirmed, the University of Georgia has been informed by Athens Regional that bacterial meningitis has been ruled out. Let me read the statement that Athens Regional released yesterday, and I quote:
"Athens Regional Medical Center has had no confirmed cases of bacterial meningitis nor any other communicable diseases within the past 7 days that require notification or follow up of exposed individuals. Due to the recent concern in the community about bacterial meningitis,
we have been in contact with the Department of Public Health and based on this review, we would like to confirm there is no public health concern."
Let me again be clear that if there were any kind of health concern for the community, then the University of Georgia, the hospital, and the county and state health departments would have moved aggressively to notify the community and take the necessary steps to protect our students.
Athens Regional Medical Center has conferred with the health department, and they also agree that there is no public health concern. Yet last evening I watched a television news report, for example, interviewing students about their fears, with little mention of the facts in the case and no attempt to contact anyone here at the University of Georgia for comment.
The notion that a hospital, or a health department, or particularly this University – would have any motivation to cover up or fail to act on a public health threat is preposterous. The medical authorities charged with managing such situations have told us there is no bacterial meningitis at the University of Georgia and no public health concern. I urge all members of the University of Georgia community and the media to follow the guidance from these medical experts rather than unfounded rumors on social media or elsewhere."