Phoenix student speaks out about surviving meningitis disease outbreak

Apr 4, 2016, 6:16 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2016, 8:46 am
Bradley Sheffield, the first of three Santa Clara University students reported to have contracted M...
Bradley Sheffield, the first of three Santa Clara University students reported to have contracted Meningitis B in the outbreak reported in early February, is photographed during an interview in Santa Clara, Calif., on Tuesday, March 29, 2016. (San Jose Mercury News via Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)
(San Jose Mercury News via Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group)

PHOENIX — After being hospitalized from a long battle with the deadly Meningococcal disease during his freshman year of college, Phoenix native Bradley Sheffield is finally ready to return to class.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Sheffield became ill in late January as a freshman at Santa Clara University in California, coming down with symptoms that Sheffield described as like a “bad flu,” including cold sweats and vomiting.

Sheffield said in an interview with the Mercury News that he is now starting to recall memories from that period in January. During the two weeks that he was hospitalized, Sheffield lost 30 pounds.

“You don’t think something like this is going to happen to you,” he said. “It’s a miracle there’s not more damage — and a miracle that I recovered so fast.”

Sheffield’s illness sparked a week-long outbreak at the university, causing widespread panic as “thousands” of students and faculty members alike lined up to receive emergency vaccinations. Two others students at the university were also hospitalized with the disease.

Meningococcal disease is a rare and severe bacterial infection that can affect the lining of the brain and spinal cord and bloodstream, according to the Centers of Disease Control. If not treated quickly, it could lead to loss of limbs, deafness, brain damage or even death.

The disease is easily spread by person-to-person through saliva or spit during actions such as coughing or kissing. A CBS affiliate reported the disease spread through a fraternity in the university that Sheffield was pledging for.


Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, left, talks with Libertarian candidate Marc Victor, middle, and...
SuElen Rivera

Arizona US Senate candidates clash over views on abortion in debate

Arizona candidates for U.S. Senator met on the debate stage Thursday evening with the top three nominees defending their stance on abortion and women's rights. 
22 hours ago
Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, left, Republican candidate Blake Masters, middle, Libertarian c...

Arizona Senate candidates spar on border security, illegal immigration

Arizona's southern border security and illegal immigration issues were hot topics Thursday night in the Arizona U.S. Senate debate.
22 hours ago
(Original Phoenix Greek Festival Photo)...

Original Phoenix Greek Festival back this weekend for 61st edition

A beloved tradition since before most Valley residents were born, the Original Phoenix Greek Festival is back this weekend with its 61st edition.
22 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Tucson Police Department)...
Wills Rice

Tucson man sentenced 17 years for fentanyl sale resulting in death

A Tucson man was sentenced to 17 years in prison for selling drugs containing fentanyl that led to the death of a young man, authorities said.
22 hours ago
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)...

Iowa man accused of making election-related threats to Arizona officials

An Iowa man was arrested on Thursday for allegedly sending election-related threats to two Arizona officials last year, including Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman, authorities said.
22 hours ago
(Facebook Photos/ Senator Mark Kelly, Blake Masters for Senate and...

Watch: Arizona US Senate candidates Kelly, Masters, Victor share debate stage

With the start of early voting a week away, Arizona’s three U.S. Senate candidates are scheduled to share the stage Thursday in a live debate.
22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
Phoenix student speaks out about surviving meningitis disease outbreak