Northern Ireland

Christopher McKee: Meningitis probe over student death

Christopher McKee
Image caption Christopher McKee was described as "intelligent" and a "pleasure to work with"

A student from Northern Ireland has died of suspected meningitis in England.

Christopher McKee, 21, who was studying sports journalism at Sunderland University, was found dead in a flat in the Pallion area on 26 March.

His friends are being offered antibiotics as a precaution, the university has confirmed.

Mr McKee was described as a popular, intelligent student who was a big football fan.

Neil Farrington, lecturer in BA Sports Journalism at the university, said: "Our thoughts are with his family.

"Remarkable maturity"

"We are devastated for them and for his friends.

"Chris was very well-liked and a pleasure to work with. He had a remarkable maturity for a first-year student.

"He was a big Northern Ireland fan. He was also a Rangers fan and there were a few Celtic supporters in class who enjoyed some good banter with Chris."

A University of Sunderland spokesperson said: "We have been informed that the meningococcal infection may have been involved in Christopher McKee's death.

"We are all deeply saddened by Christopher's death and have been offering our support to his family, friends and fellow students.

"He was very popular with his peers and his lecturers. He was an intelligent student who had a bright future ahead of him and it is tragic that his life has been cut short."

A spokeswoman for the university said staff were working closely with the Health Protection Agency to give students advice and support.

She said only people who had had prolonged contact with someone with meningitis were at risk.

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