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Maryland student at Scottish university dies of meningitis

January 26, 1997

ABERDEEN, Scotland (AP) _ An American student attending a Scottish university had died of meningitis, the fifth victim of the brain inflammation in Britain since November.

Brian Bainbridge, 27, of Chestertown, Md., died Saturday. He had arrived in Scotland just 10 days earlier to study physiotherapy at Robert Gordon University.

Bainbridge suffered from flu-like symptoms Thursday but was feeling better Friday, said Gordon Craig, head of external affairs at the university..

``On Saturday, some of his flat-mates saw he was very unwell and arranged for an ambulance to get him to the hospital,″ Craig told The Associated Press on Sunday. Bainbridge died within two hours of admission to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

Bainbridge was one of 21 U.S. students coming from 20 different states to study physiotherapy at the university. The students, who started classes Jan. 21, receive a bachelor of science degree after three years of study.

The other American students are receiving counseling and antibiotics, Craig said.

``They are in a better frame of mind then I thought they would be,″ Craig said. He described the campus as ``saddened″ and ``subdued.″

Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the membrane covering the brain. Symptoms include fever, delirium and convulsions and can end with brain damage, paralysis or death.

Bainbridge died of the meningococcal septicaemia strain of meningitis which can be contracted through kissing or sharing a cup, Craig said.

There have been a spate of meningitis-related deaths in Britain this year. In December, 800 University of Wales students were inoculated after two students died from the disease.

In Scotland, a 46-year-old woman died last week of the same strain as Bainbridge. Ten days ago, a 7-year-old boy died from the disease in Germany after spending the Christmas season in the Scottish county of Aberdeenshire.

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