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January 29, 2002
Vol. 28, No. 14



UT faces projected deficit; proposes $230 increase in student fees

Teresa Graham Brett named dean of students

Behavior of midwater fishes under Antarctic ice: Observations by a predator

Student group displays pro-life exhibit at West Mall area

Meningitis ruled cause of university student's death

New study examines effects of memory training

Endowed scholarship honors Myers

Researchers get $4.5 million to study child language therapy

New engineering chair made possible by $2.35 million gift

Global extinction rate reaches historical proportions

Special programs highlight celebration of Black History Month

Nichols named associate vice president for research

Texas Exes to honor teachers for their excellence as educators

Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program Policy Statement

University approves new policy for lighting UT Tower

Coral study challenges long-held theory on glacial cycles

UT research shows radiation zapping Mars may affect biological evolution

Growing number of U.S.-Mexican border residents using herbs to treat ailments

News Briefs

Faculty Council

UT researchers receive $5.5 million to study effects of curricular changes in schools

Dana Center receives $94,000 award for math education

KUT adds Marketplace and The World to its program lineup

Arete: Harlan Miller

Critics program Viewpoint 2002 begins on Jan. 31

UT student returns home to conduct Corpus Christi Symphony in Rockport




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Meningitis ruled cause of university student's death

Preliminary tests involving the death of a University of Texas at Austin student who lived in an off-campus apartment indicate he had bacterial meningitis, health department officials said.

Joseph Slade Blackstock, 21, arrived at Austin's Brackenridge Hospital at 4 a.m., Jan. 22, and died shortly afterward. Blackstock, a junior studying business at the university, lived at 1600 Wickersham Lane in Austin.

Jeanne Carpenter, director of University Health Services, said her office contacted students who attend classes with Blackstock on Thursdays to provide them with information about meningitis and offer other assistance — including medication, as needed.

Blackstock's classmates were urged by the health officials to watch for symptoms and to seek immediate medical attention if needed because the disease spreads quickly through the body. Antibiotics were handed out to 154 students who attended class with Blackstock the week before he died. However, University Health Services officials learned it is unlikely Blackstock could have infected anyone in his Thursday classes because he had shown no symptoms of the disease until the day before his death.

Betty Vickers of the Austin /Travis County Health and Human Services Department said the infection meningococcal meningitis is an acute bacterial disease characterized by a sudden onset of fever, intense headache, nausea and often vomiting, stiff neck, and frequently, a rash. She said people who have reason to believe they have meningitis should seek immediate medical attention. Symptoms usually develop within 48-72 hours after initial exposure, but sometimes the symptoms do not show up for several days.

The disease is transmitted when people exchange saliva, such as by kissing or by sharing drinking containers, utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, etc., or come in contact with respiratory or throat secretions, Spalding said.

Information about bacterial meningitis may be viewed on the University Health Services Web site.

In response to student and parent concerns, University Health Services is providing a walk-in meningococcal vaccine clinic from 1-4 p.m., Jan. 30-31, on the second floor of the Student Services Building. The cost for the vaccine is $65 for students with proper identification and $75 for others.

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