The principal of Moulton College has paid tribute to a “well-liked and popular” Northamptonshire student after his sudden death from a bacterial infection.
Earlier today Public Health England said it had launched an investigation into the Irthlingborough animal shelter NANNA (Northamptonshire Animals in Need of Nurturing and Adoption) after one of its volunteers contracted leptospirosis.
The volunteer, who has not yet been named, was a first-year student at Moulton College.
Principal of the college, Stephen Davies, said: “We are all deeply saddened and upset by the sudden death of our student.
“He was a first year who quickly settled into his studies and was a well-liked and popular student.
“Our condolences and thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time.
“I understand an investigation has been launched by Public Health England at where our student volunteered and that as a result public access to NANNA has been restricted.
“Moulton College will continue to ensure that our health and safety practices are of the highest standard.”
Dr Samia Latif, consultant in public health, said leptospirosis is an infection caught through contact with urine from infected animals (mainly rodents, cattle and pigs) carried in water or soil.
Dr Latif said: “The bacteria enter the body through abrasions or cuts in the skin and through the lining of the nose, mouth and eyes.
“Early symptoms include flu-like symptoms, vomiting, high temperature, headache and muscle pains.
“The infection can be treated with antibiotics and most people will make a full recovery.
“However in some cases the infection is more severe and can cause life-threatening problems, including organ failure and internal bleeding.”
A spokesman for East Northamptonshire Council said it was also involved in an investigation following the case of leptospirosis in the district, reported to us by Public Health England.
The spokesman said: “The individual was a volunteer at an animal shelter in Irthlingborough as well as attending Moulton College.
“As a result of this investigation, a court order has been sought which requires that public access to Northamptonshire Animals in Need of Nurturing and Adoption (NANNA) is restricted.
“Investigations are ongoing.”