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Young Woman Shares Warning about Meningitis

COLUMBUS (Tara Morgan) -- A college student is sending out a warning about meningitis after she says the illness left her paralyzed.

20 year old Brittanee Bell is paralyzed from the waist down.

Bell says three weeks after returning home from her university in South Carolina, she got sick and had to be admitted to the hospital.

"As a 20 year old waking up in the hospital telling me I'll never walk again was just devastating," said Bell.

She was treated for bacterial meningitis.

Meningitis means inflammation of the covering of the spine and brain.

Viral and bacterial forms spread in different ways.

"We definitely see in general in Ohio more viral meningitis cases but we are concerned about the bacterial meningitis cases often those are the more severe illnesses," said State Epidemiologist, Dr. Mary DiOrio.

A vaccine protects against four types of bacterial meningitis.

Dr. DiOrio says booster shots are recommended for college students at high risk for the meningococcal type.

Princeton is dealing with a rare strain.

The university says it will distribute a vaccine not yet available in the United States.

Bell says it's hard not to look back at what she could have done to protect herself.

"I wish i got the shot seriously I'm in a wheelchair and told I will never walk again," said Bell.
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