published Monday, February 7th, 2011

Georgia Marine recruit dies, meningitis suspected

BEAUFORT, S.C. — A 19-year-old recruit from Georgia at the Marine Corps training base in South Carolina has died and officials are checking to see if she suffered from meningitis.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports Keerica R. Allen of Atlanta died late Saturday at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

The Marine Corps says tests on the exact cause of death are not in, and as many as 200 Parris Island personnel who may have encountered the recruit have been given an antibiotic as a precaution.

Meningitis causes inflammation of membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. It is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says viral meningitis is usually less severe and clears up without specific treatment.

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