Students filled Dahlgren Quad tonight for a memorial service for Andrea Jaime (NHS ’17), who died today from apparent meningitis at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, according to an email sent by university officials.
A human science major who also took the training class for Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service, Jaime planned to attend medical school after graduation. According to her Facebook page, Jaime was originally from Bogota, Colombia. She graduated from Coral Gables Senior High School in Miami, Fla. and was designated a Gates Millennium Scholar.
Late this morning, Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson and Assistant Vice President for Student Health Services James Welsh sent a joint email alerting the Georgetown community that an undergraduate had been diagnosed with meningitis. According to the email, the cause of the meningitis is currently unknown.
The email stated that while there is no health risk to the Georgetown community, students are still encouraged to contact the Student Health Center if they experience any symptoms, including sudden fever, headache and stiff neck.
In another email sent about three hours later, Olson and Welsh confirmed Jaime’s death.
“This is difficult news for the many members of the Georgetown community who know Andrea. Georgetown officials have been in touch with Andrea’s family and will continue to provide support and assistance to them. Please join us in remembering Andrea’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this time,” the email read.
Meningitis is caused by an inflammation of the membranes, called the meninges, near the brain and spiral cord. The disease is most often caused by bacterial or viral infection.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, bacterial meningitis is a serious illness that requires immediate treatment, and it can cause brain damage, loss of hearing or learning disabilities, Between 2003 and 2007, the United States saw 4,100 cases of bacterial meningitis, 500 of which led to death.
Typically less severe than bacterial meningitis, viral meningitis lasts seven to 10 days, and most people who contract it make a full recovery. Fungal meningitis, a more rare disease caused by the spread of a fungus through the blood to the spinal cord, is not contagious.
The university did not specify which type of meningitis Jaime contracted.
Friends and peers filled Dahlgren Quad today at 7:30 p.m. to mourn.
Fr. Kevin O’Brien, S.J., University President John J. DeGioia, Rabbi Rachel Gartner and CMEA Assistant Director for Academic and Student Support Services Cinthya Salazar spoke at tonight’s prayer service.
A full obituary will follow in The Hoya’s print edition Friday.