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Media Advisory

UC Berkeley Media Advisory

Meningitis confirmed in death of Alisa Lewis

22 January 2004

ATTENTION: Reporters covering the death of UC Berkeley student athlete Alisa Marie Lewis

Contact: UC Berkeley Media Relations
(510) 642-3734

- Health officials today confirmed the presence of meningitis bacteria in the blood of Alisa Marie Lewis, the Cal women's basketball player who died Monday, Jan. 19.

Peter Dietrich, M.D., medical director of University Health Services at UC Berkeley, said City of Berkeley public health officials reported that results of a blood culture confirmed the presence of Neisseria meningitidis (also called meningococcus).

Dietrich said this is the bacteria that causes meningococcal meningitis and/or meningococcal sepsis, an infection in the blood stream. He noted that the meningococcal vaccine that is available for some types of meningitis would not have provided protection against the type of meningococcus (serotype B) detected in Lewis' blood culture.

It was also announced today that the campus's athletic department will host a memorial service for Lewis tomorrow (Thursday, Jan. 22) at noon in Haas Pavilion (the basketball arena.) Friends, students and the general public are invited to attend.

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